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In Arkansas, preparations for the Great Northern American Solar Eclipse of 2024 are intensifying



Little Rock, Arkansas – Two-thirds of the state is predicted to be affected by the Great Northern American Solar Eclipse in 2024, thus state agencies are still meeting and refining plans.

To identify any holes they might have overlooked, law enforcement and first responders participated in an exercise at Camp Robinson on Thursday, which was hosted by the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, with less than two months to go.

They explored potential reaction strategies and had discussions about situations related to weather, transportation, medical, and public safety during the exercise.

According to Logan County Emergency Manager Tobi Miller, they are perfectly positioned for the eclipse and were able to strengthen their local preparations by interacting with agencies during the drill.

“We have been making sure that we have alternative landing zones for helicopters and prepositioning or ambulance resources,” said Miller. “We will have our emergency operations center open and our EMS director will be there. We will be working with our dispatch to take any overflow.”
Anticipating bad cell phone service was one of the points raised.

‘They are dependent on that communication so we have been working hard with emergency services to have alternate communications so that we can get information from one agency to another,” said Miller.
However, she added that if this does occur, they have a few options.

“We have our radio system and the state has a radio system as a backup,” said Miller. “We will also have the support of our ham operators.”
Miller stated that the state is working together to make this event fun for both Arkansans and guests.

“We don’t know exactly how this is going to affect our communities,” said Miller. “That is why we need to know exactly what everyone was planning in case there are any gaps. That was the main thing focused on yesterday, are there any gaps that we see that we haven’t planned for.”

On April 6, ADEM will activate its Emergency Operational Center. Click this link to view the 2024 Solar Eclipse Planning Checklist.

To maintain public safety during those brief days, the Arkansas State Police will collaborate with local law enforcement, and ARDOT will keep an eye on and provide updates on traffic conditions throughout the eclipse via I-DRIVE Arkansas.

Since mobile towers may be interfered with, the National Weather Service suggests that everyone have a backup plan for receiving severe weather alerts.

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