Sighting the Solar Eclipse: A Planning Guide

On August 21, a total solar eclipse will be visible from the continental United States for the first time in about 40 years.  By all estimates, this event will draw people from far and wide to the path where totality, or the complete eclipse, is visible.  This path cuts across the continental United States in an arc from Oregon to South Carolina, and while it passes through a few major cities, including St. Louis, its path primarily cuts through rural territories with little infrastructure to support the estimated millions (some say up to 75 million) who will gather.

With this in mind, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) produced the document, Solar Eclipses: Planning Resources, which aggregates,

fact sheets, checklists, locally-developed guidance documents, and news articles on eye safety, injury treatment, and planned mass gatherings in rural and urban areas.

The document was created in order to, “address planning and response concerns and help local emergency healthcare providers plan for these gatherings,” and while, “resources in sections I through V are specific to the eclipse event, the rest of the sections include resources related to planned mass gatherings.”

Various helpful sections include: eclipse eye safety, eye injury treatment, federal resources, education and training, and several others. Each section has a link to an external website or article, followed by a description of the resource.

For more information related to mass gatherings, check out the Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) Featured Topic: Mass Gatherings.