Edit:. That's all folks! Thank you all so much for the fantastic questions and the opportunity to serve you in our agencies! Please stay safe during the eclipse by stocking up on water, groceries, gas, meds and anything else you may need! Arrive early, stay put, and leave late. Buy NASA approved eclipse glasses. Most importantly, have fun. :)

Hello Reddit – We are here to answer your questions about the upcoming August 21st Total Solar Eclipse and how it will impact Oregon, as well as questions about the field of emergency management/public affairs, and preparedness. Spoiler alert: We NEVER expected it to be as big of a deal as it is today.

Today on this AMA we have:

• Jefferson County, Oregon - /u/PublicHealthPrepCO

• Oregon Parks and Recreation Department - /u/oregonstateparks

• Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Management - /u/ashley_volz

• St. Charles Healthcare - /u/StCharlesHealthPIO

• Oregon Department of Forestry – /u/MyOregonForests-ODF

• Oregon Office of Emergency Management – /u/oregonoem

• Oregon Department of Transportation – /u/ODOT-Official

We will officially begin answering questions at 10am and stick around for about an hour, although some of us will stick around longer. We want to answer your questions and dispel rumors.

If you’re visiting Oregon and have questions, please be sure to look at:

Oregon State Parks 2017 Solar Eclipse website.

Oregon Office of Emergency Management Eclipse website.

City of Madras Eclipse website.

Oregon Health Authority website.

And the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network blog linked below.

This AMA was organized in part by the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network (COEIN) and the mod team at /r/CascadianPreppers


https://www.facebook.com/JeffersonCountyOrHealthDepartment/posts/1059907500806331 https://www.facebook.com/OregonStateParks/ http://www.coemergencyinfo.blogspot.com https://twitter.com/COEmergencyInfo/status/888531911567486976 https://twitter.com/ODF_COD/status/889997845062836224 https://twitter.com/OregonOEM/status/890296669262143488 https://www.facebook.com/STCHealth

Comments: 377 • Responses: 23  • Date: 

PixelPantsAshli71 karma

Where can I volunteer for the post-ApocEcliptic cleanup effort?

PublicHealthPrepCO53 karma

I love that you are already thinking about how to help our wonderful state get back to normal!

Clague41 karma

Will you be offering rain checks if it's cloudy that day?

PublicHealthPrepCO19 karma

ha! If it's cloudy, feel free to hop on the fastest airplane in the universe and chase the path of totality east across the U.S. :)

WonderlandsMalice32 karma

Is a shortage of fuel anticipated in the days before and after the event due to the influx of people?

PublicHealthPrepCO41 karma

The short answer is yes. We are recommending that locals fuel their vehicles up on Tuesday or Wednesday. Central Oregon has 3-4 days of gas on average before needing "restocking". Deliveries for most resources are going to be difficult because of the increased traffic on our roads.

Edit: And there WILL be deliveries. There are plans for influxes with the fuel companies but it's still good to be prepared for longer wait times for fuel.

anti-m24 karma

I think I know the answer to this, but is it a terrible idea to bicycle down to totality from Portland on the day of?

PublicHealthPrepCO46 karma

I won't say it is a terrible idea but if you do bike down, I would make sure you're very visible, wearing a helmet, have supplies like food and water, and be vigilant in watching out for traffic patterns.

coryrenton19 karma

could you estimate the budget dedicated to apoceclipse over the entire state?

PublicHealthPrepCO18 karma

I just wanted to say that answering your question would be extremely difficult since it's a partnership between many different city, county, and state agencies. I know we've spent a lot of time and effort planning for this event over the last 2 years!

paul9950115 karma

We are watching the eclipse in Madras and then driving to PDX to catch a 9 pm flight that night. Normally a 2.5 hour drive, but we'll have about 9 hours. Any guesses as to if we'll make it?

And a BIG THANK YOU to all of you and all the agencies and people working on this!

PublicHealthPrepCO20 karma

You can make it BUT make sure you have food, water, and patience in abundance since there will be increased traffic leaving the area.

wrongkanji14 karma

I've seen some people think that we have infinite dispersed camping in areas like Mt Hood and that can be their fallback. I think lack of parking will self regulate that at least some. But for other areas in Central Oregon are there plans in place to deal with possible overcrowding of natural areas?

PublicHealthPrepCO8 karma

The public lands folks do have plans in place to help protect our natural areas. I'll tag them to answer any specifics.

Oregon Department of Forestry – /u/MyOregonForests-ODF

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department - /u/oregonstateparks

__imbellish__13 karma

What's the absolute worst case scenario you have prepared for?

PublicHealthPrepCO28 karma

Just generally, the worst thing would be a mass fatality incident of some kind. We do not expect there to be any large scale disasters or anything of that sort but because a lot of Oregon will be maximizing available resources, if a multi vehicle crash happened it could potentially tax our medical and morgue system.

PublicHealthPrepCO26 karma

I will also say that we have spent almost 2 years planning together for this event so we are confident we can handle what comes our way! We all work together frequently to make sure that we can meet demands and keep people safe.

penecow29010 karma

I will be driving down from Seattle on Saturday morning and camping near Salem. Any tips or things I should be prepared for?

PublicHealthPrepCO15 karma

Expect traffic congestion. Make sure you give yourself more time to get to your destination, please carry food and water with you, and be calm and patient. There will be a lot of people traveling and we want everyone to get there safe!

Strangesyllabus3 karma

What would you recommend we expect as far as traffic. It takes about an hour to get to Aurora so should we expect 3? 6? (those are some tiny ass country roads.)

PublicHealthPrepCO7 karma

I would say that you should expect at least a holiday weekend uptick in traffic if not double that. We do not have any way to estimate how long a road trip will take during the eclipse but anticipate it taking longer than usual and plan accordingly. Take food, water, a paper map, and prepare to be patient.

nmogk9 karma

Will there be additional emergency communications set up, like a HAM network?

PublicHealthPrepCO7 karma

We have a network of HAM Radio Operators in Jefferson County that will be involved at our Emergency Operations Center and at their homes to give us situational awareness of traffic and other issues.

Ashton428 karma

are you expecting people to pull over, stopping traffic during the event...on freeways and surface streets alike?

PublicHealthPrepCO4 karma

People will naturally want to do that. Oregon Department of Transportation – /u/ODOT-Official will have teams stationed along our highways to make sure that traffics keeps moving to avoid any dangerous situations.

PaulC_EUG7 karma

How many days before/after do you anticipate traffic delays as the million people arrive and depart?

ODOT-Official10 karma

Thanks to Deschutes County, our survey says Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are about evenly split for inbound traffic. Outbound looks like Monday and Tuesday are busy.

fancynutmix4 karma

Is there any truth to the rumor that 97 will be changed to one-direction traffic on Monday?

PublicHealthPrepCO15 karma

The answer is no. ODOT has worked hard to make sure that roads will be open and that the flow of traffic keeps moving during that week.

Pojodan7 karma

I live in Bend, OR and have heard a number of doom and gloom predictions about the aftermath (And even the foremath with hundreds of thousands of visitors streaming in over 4-5 days).

What plans are in place to deal with the almost guaranteed rise in crime in the major areas the eclipse is passing through (Salem, Madras, Ontario), and what will be done with people that get stranded here and homeless?

PublicHealthPrepCO16 karma

To add onto what OEM said, I think most agencies don't foresee a huge uptick in violent crime. There may be more things like trespassing and shoplifting but most people spent quite a bit of money to experience this here and I don't imagine they came here to get arrested!

Also, we have a local chapter of the Red Cross that we have been planning with, so we could potentially utilize their ability to shelter if we did have a lot of people temporarily stranded here for some reason.

rytis6 karma

Where did you come up with the name ApocEclipse – isn't that kind of foreboding?

PublicHealthPrepCO11 karma

The name is a joke because of the influx of visitors coming here and all of the planning going on. It makes it seem that we anticipate this to be a bad event. In reality, we don't anticipate anything negative from this event except increased travel times and demand for resources like food and fuel. We want to have fun and keep everyone safe!

fidelitypdx6 karma

What are the most important tips for fire prevention in Oregon forests?

One of my family members has a chronic illness and occasionally needs medical services. How close do I really need to be to a hospital? And what other things should I be considering from a medical care perspective?

PublicHealthPrepCO12 karma

If you are pregnant or have a serious chronic illness, I would make sure to stay close to a hospital. How close really depends on where you are but I wouldn't recommend being way out in the forest. Make sure prescriptions get filled ahead of time, as well as any durable and consumable medical equipment like oxygen, diabetic syringes, catheters, etc.

diegggs945 karma

Two questions: How do you expect the amount of food and supplies in Eugene will hold up? And, if I'm flying out shortly after the eclipse (few days after), will traffic still be an issue?

PublicHealthPrepCO7 karma

To answer the question about flying; the heavy days for traffic leaving the area is Monday the 21st and Tuesday the 22nd. Traffic may still be an issue on Wednesday but hopefully not as much. I would just recommend using TripCheck to view the cams to look at traffic, leave early, and have patience.

Kor33va5 karma

Hello! Thanks for taking the time to inform our community about precautions to take around the Eclipse!

Onto the questions: • With the mass influx of people expected to be in central oregon, are we going to experience a temporary heightened crime rate? • medical emergencies- are we going to expect a longer time than usual for authorities to arrive? Will the hospitals be able to treat any incident without losing care to our locals? • I'm hearing drive time estimated between 6 and 10 hours from bend to madras- will there be any form of traffic control from our local pds? How will people with a commute need to plan around expected traffic? • Can we, or do we, expect to run out of certain goods while accommodating these visitors? I'm hearing of gas shortages, food shortages, and it seems like people are losing their minds over it.

PublicHealthPrepCO6 karma

Thanks for all the questions! These are great. We can't really estimate drive times but roads will have a lot of people on them. It will take longer to get places than usual, even more so than a holiday weekend. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time, take supplies like food and water, and be patient.

We are recommending that locals go shopping and pick up prescriptions ahead of time because there could be a shortage on food, gas, and other supplies. Stock up a week before and then you'll have peace of mind.

There will be medical surge for EMS, clinics, and hospitals. It will take longer for people to respond to any emergencies but there are plans in place to meet the demands on our systems.

LotionInBasketPlz4 karma

How will the 911 system respond to the overwhelming increase in call volumes? Shoutout to RAPTOR and dat shade path

PublicHealthPrepCO8 karma

911 will be staffed up to handle the volume. Most agencies had blackout dates for vacation in the weeks leading up to this event.

Tardigrade_Parade4 karma

There's a huge concern few seem to be talking about. What if it's cloudy? Isn't Oregon cloudier than other states?

PublicHealthPrepCO4 karma

This all depends on what part of Oregon you are viewing from! The coast and valley (Salem) can be cloudy this time of the year. The farther east you go, the less chance of being cloudy. That's why a lot of people have made reservations in Central and Eastern Oregon.

If it's cloudy where you're viewing from, our recommendation is to stay put and still experience the eclipse from that location. It will be hard to jump into a vehicle and get somewhere else.

Strangesyllabus2 karma

Oh and how bad are you guys anticipating the load on the cell networks to be? Will we be able to make emergency calls at all?

PublicHealthPrepCO9 karma

Jefferson County has cell towers on wheels being brought in from 3 of the larger cellular companies to help with the load. That being said, we recommend that people text instead of make phone calls as it uses less bandwidth and lessens the burden on coverage.