On August 21, 2017, 14 U.S. States situated from the northwest to the southeast will experience an influx of visitors who are seeking to view the solar eclipse along the path of totality.
For most of the population, this is an exciting educational opportunity, but for emergency managers, this means a sharp increase in road traffic, which may change with the weather, a potential strain on infrastructure and resources due to possible disturbances related to Airbnb rentals that spiked over 300 percent in many areas and a possible increase in hospital visits due to eye damage.
State and local agencies are preparing for all possible safety impacts with emergency management technology such as WebEOC and ArcGIS. The technology allows them to visualize not only crisis information but also eclipse impacts such as the ones below. These maps are going to help emergency managers share information with the public, plan for special events, enhance multi-jurisdictional communication and view live traffic.
If you use the WebEOC Maps Add-on, the following data layers from ESRI’s ArcGIS can be configured for use with your WebEOC Maps Add-on. Including these layers will allow you and your agency to better prepare.
Since 12.55 million people live inside the path of totality and an estimated 1.85 to 7.4 million people will visit the path of totality on eclipse day, it is important that emergency managers are prepared and have the right tools to support response to this once-in-a-lifetime event.