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Flood Warning
The National Weather Service In Pocatello Has Extended The * Flood Warning For... Snowmelt In... Southern Custer County In Central Idaho... Northwestern Blaine County In Central Idaho... * Until 230 Pm Mdt Friday ...Read More.
Effective: July 5, 2017 at 11:33amExpires: July 7, 2017 at 3:00pmTarget Area: Blaine; Custer

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Preparedness

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Blaine County, Idaho will be in the epicenter of the August 21, 2017 total eclipse of the sun. It is expected this unique natural event will attract a large influx of visitors to Blaine County. Since August is already prime vacation season in Blaine County, we can expect everything to be above capacity for nearly a week in total around the eclipse. We offer this preparedness page to visitors, residents and businesses alike to help ensure all have an enjoyable and safe experience during the total solar eclipse.

When the moon starts to block the sun from view at 10:12 am, shadows and then eventual darkness will fall on our towns, mountains and open spaces. The total eclipse will begin around 11:29 am in Ketchum and Sun Valley and last about 1 minute. The moon ends its blockage of the sun at 12:53 pm.

Eclipse Preparedness for Blaine County Residents

  • Expect congestion. Be prepared for crowds, lines and traffic. The eclipse is on a Monday, so the Ketchum/Sun Valley area will likely see a surge of visitors starting Friday, August 18th.
  • Visit the grocery store, bank for cash, and top off the gas tank on Wednesday or Thursday to avoid crowds.
  • Drivers are urged to plan ahead and expect delays, keep a full tank of gas, and make sure to have extra food, drinking water and first-aid supplies in their vehicles. Traffic may become overwhelming and make it difficult to travel to and from work.
  • On eclipse day, try to view from home or work as travel will be difficult.
  • You will need eclipse glasses in order to actually view the eclipse. (Sorry, sunglasses aren’t enough.) See the section on Eclipse Glasses below.
  • If you do plan to view the eclipse from a remote place, check the local weather forecast for eclipse day and make sure you have sufficient sunscreen, drinking water, food, a hat, toilet paper, and first-aid supplies. Be prepared to take care of yourself in the August heat and if a thunderstorm should develop. Don’t overexert yourself.
  • The Idaho Transportation Department is asking drivers not to stop in the roadway, emergency turnouts, or the shoulder of the highways. Do not park your car on any tall grass, as you may start a wild fire.
  • 9-1-1 and Dispatch will likely be overwhelmed on eclipse day. Only call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency. Expect increased response times due to traffic congestion and limited resources. The non-emergency phone number to Dispatch is 208-578-3831.
  • You can get current status updates on Facebook and Twitter from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office.
  • People will be on the internet and their cellphones – Networks may go down. If you can’t make a cellular call, try using a landline or send a text message.
  • Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit and a Personal Emergency Plan; make sure family members or friends know your schedule, when you are expected to return and your plan if something happens. See our links below to help you prepare these.
  • Here’s some excellent additional eclipse preparedness info from Lincoln County, Oregon that you can download.
  • Here’s important information from the Sawtooth National Forest related to the eclipse.

Eclipse Preparedness for Visitors

  • Expect congestion. Be prepared for crowds, lines and traffic. The eclipse is on a Monday, so the Ketchum/Sun Valley area will likely see a surge of visitors starting Friday, August 18th. Be patient. Bring books, games, etc., to keep busy. Take the time in long lines to get to know Idaho and other visitors.
  • Drivers are urged to plan ahead and expect delays, keep a full tank of gas, and make sure to have extra food, drinking water and first-aid supplies in their vehicles.
  • Become aware of the beauty, splendor and hazards that are all part of Blaine County, Idaho. Know what to do and where to go in the event of severe heat, wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. You can find more information at the Blaine County Local Emergency Planning Committee website home page.
  • You can get current status updates on Facebook and Twitter from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office.
  • You will need eclipse glasses in order to actually view the eclipse. (Sorry, sunglasses aren’t enough.) See the section on Eclipse Glasses below.
  • If you do plan to view the eclipse from a remote place, check the local weather forecast for eclipse day and make sure you have sufficient sunscreen, drinking water, food, a hat, toilet paper, and first-aid supplies. Be prepared to take care of yourself in the August heat and if a thunderstorm should develop. Don’t overexert yourself.
  • The Idaho Transportation Department is asking drivers not to stop in the roadway, emergency turnouts, or the shoulder of the highways. Do not park your car on any tall grass, as you may start a wild fire. Park only in designated parking areas. Please respect “No Parking” and “No Trespassing” signs.
  • 9-1-1 and Dispatch will likely be overwhelmed on eclipse day. Only call 9-1-1 if it is an emergency. Expect increased response times due to traffic congestion and limited resources. The non-emergency phone number to Dispatch is 208-578-3831.
  • People will be on the internet and their cellphones – Networks may go down. If you can’t make a cellular call, try using a landline or send a text message.
  • Have an Emergency Preparedness Kit and a Personal Emergency Plan; make sure family members or friends know your schedule, when you are expected to return and your plan if something happens. See our links below to help you prepare these.
  • Here’s important information from the Sawtooth National Forest related to the eclipse.

Eclipse Preparedness for Blaine County Businesses

  • Prepare for a big jump in customers. Grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, transportation services, coffee shops, retail stores, urgent care clinics and many other establishments will experience a jump in business. They are encouraged to order goods and schedule staff accordingly.
  • Be aware that many visitors will be camping in both authorized and unauthorized locations; expect customers who may be primarily interested in using rest rooms.
  • Encourage employees to have a full tank of gas prior to the time visitors begin to arrive in the area. Lines for fuel may occur and you’ll want staff to be able to get to work.
  • Be prepared for more cash transactions and potential challenges with credit/debit card transactions taking longer than usual because of increased volumes. Consider having tills set up to accommodate more cash transactions.
  • Be prepared for cell service overloads; there may be service disruptions due to the increase in visitors using networks. Visitors may have urgent requests to use your business telephone line if they are having trouble with cell service. Decide how you want to handle these requests and make sure employees know what to do.
  • Businesses near public gathering areas with Wi-Fi should secure networks.
  • Talk to suppliers. Some suppliers may be considering delivery schedule changes due to the event. Suppliers may also be looking at how the increased traffic on rural roads may impact delivery times.
  • Be aware of current camp fire restrictions and road conditions in the Ketchum/Sun Valley area, and consider sharing and posting fire prevention tips and materials in your business. Out-of-town visitors may be camping and not aware of restrictions, so providing additional education materials could have a profound impact on Idaho lands.
  • Here’s some excellent health, sanitation and information for food vendors from South Central Idaho Health District.
  • Here’s some excellent additional eclipse preparedness info from Lincoln County, Oregon that you can download.
  • Here’s important information from the Sawtooth National Forest related to the eclipse.

Eclipse Glasses – A Necessity

Since looking directly at the Sun, even during an eclipse, can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness, special eclipse safety glasses or viewers must always be used (sunglasses are not safe). The small amount of light emitted during even a 99.9 percent solar eclipse is still dangerous. The only time it’s safe to look at a total eclipse without proper eye protection is during the brief period of “totality” when the Sun is 100 percent blocked by the Moon. If you’re not located in the path of totality, there is never a time when it’s safe to look with unprotected eyes. Use Solar Eclipse Viewing glasses that meet ISO 12312-2. Attempting to view an eclipse using binoculars, telescopes, cameras, or other devices that don’t have their own special front-mounted solar filters is extremely hazardous.

Build an Emergency Preparedness Kit

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Do you have an Emergency Preparedness Kit? If not, put one together now. If you already have a kit, check and restock it, if needed. Here’s our page that can help you easily put together a good basic emergency kit: http://www.blaineemergency.org/emergency-preparedness-kit/

 Get a Personal Emergency Plan

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Do you have a Personal Emergency Plan? Your family may not be together when a disaster or emergency strikes, so it is important to think about various situations and plan just in case. Here’s the link to our page with some great information and templates to help you create a personal emergency plan: http://www.blaineemergency.org/personal-emergency-plan/

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Great thanks to the following resources for this page: Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Office of Emergency Management, Town of Jackson and Teton County, Wyoming, Lincoln County, Oregon, GreatAmericanEclipse.com, NationalEclipse.com, Sawtooth National Forest, Idaho Department of Commerce, Idaho Transportation Department, and the Idaho Office of Emergency Management.