The debut of this summer’s blockbuster is August 21 and it is not a Hollywood movie. It’s the appearance of the total solar eclipse gracing Salem skies that Monday morning.
Because of the local rarity of the occurrence, Salem and the surrounding area will be experiencing a little eclipse mania. With visitors from all over the county and the world, we are going to be getting a little cozy with a lot of people!
So what’s a Salemite and people who live in the surrounding areas to do? #SurviveTheEclipse. Not from the mythic cosmic doom, but from congestion on streets and downtown sidewalks, long waits at traffic lights, potential parking problems, and long lines at eateries or local fun spots.
If you live in the Salem area, do a little pre-event planning so you can enjoy the solar phenomenon, while also avoiding any frustrations that will come with an increase of people in one area. Consider the following:
1. Fuel up, stock up, and pack your patience.
Lines on the road and in the store may be long, so shop ahead and fuel up your vehicles so that you can reduce the chances of having to deal with long waits. Don’t forget about any medication needs. Plan to refill and pick up prescriptions beforehand. Today’s quick trip to the market or drugstore will more likely be a trying experience during eclipse weekend.
2. If you’re attending any of the local eclipse events, prepare the kids.
Go over your safety rules with kids before you even leave the house. Remind your children about what to do if they get lost. Make sure they know their full name and your name, and they have your phone number memorized or on piece of paper in their pocket. Take a pic of the kids, and should they become lost, you’ll be able to accurately report what they’re wearing to officials.
3. Don’t forget about preventing crime.
Make sure to take only what you need. Do not leave valuables in your vehicle. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid being a victim of a car break-in or a pickpocket. You know, the sorts of common sense you use when there are big events going on.
4. Remember your pets.
If you’ll be taking pets with you to local events, check with the venue to make sure they’re allowed. Ensure they’re wearing ID tags. If your pets are staying home, remember to leave plenty of fresh food and water. Due to the expected traffic congestion, you may not arrive home when you expect.
5. Enjoy your Monday morning.
If you can, reschedule any appointments you have Monday morning. The less you have to face traffic, the more time you’ll have to enjoy the eclipse.
6. Stay connected with trusted resources.
Bookmark sites and follow social accounts for trusted resources. Agencies like the City of Salem, Marion County, and the Oregon Department of Transportation will be posting info on their websites and social media pages. Don’t forget to keep those mobile devices charged!
If you use a few or all of the tips, Salemites and everyone else will indeed #SurviveTheEclipse!
#SurviveTheEclipse and #SalemOR are the hashtags the Salem Police Department is using for messaging as it applies to the solar phenomenon of 2017.