HomeState of NHState officials encourage Solar Eclipse viewers to prepare to ensure safety

State officials encourage Solar Eclipse viewers to prepare to ensure safety

Today state and local officials and private sector partners discussed preparations and
precautions that have been taken to ensure residents and visitors safely enjoy viewing the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8.

“As thousands will travel North to witness the solar eclipse, months of preparation have taken place to make Monday a stellar day here in New Hampshire,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “For those traveling North, pack your patience! Anticipate increased traffic. To our friends visiting from out of state, remember: there’s no sales tax in NH, so feel free to stay a bit longer!”

New Hampshire is one of only 13 states in the path of totality, and our beautiful Great North Woods – from Lancaster north to Pittsburg — is directly in that path.

The last time NH was in the direct path of a Solar Eclipse was in 1959, and the next time won’t be until 2079. This has the potential to be a once-in-a-lifetime event for many residents and visitors alike.

“We hope that this is a great opportunity, especially in the shoulder season of the state, where we’re in typically what we call mud season,” said Lori Harnois, Director of the Department of Business and Economic Development’s Division of Tourism and Travel. “This is a great opportunity to bring travelers here. They will experience New Hampshire, and we really think that there will be an economic benefit to come. They will see New Hampshire and hopefully book another vacation here.”

Local communities in the North Country have been preparing for months, bringing in extra resources, such as volunteers and provisions, and identifying the best locations for parking.

“We’ve been working in depth with our law enforcement, fire, EMS, the hospital, and ensuring that we have covered to the best of our ability for all those (safety) issues,” said Colebrook Town Manager Tim Stevens. “For the most part, it’s going to be all hands on deck during the busy travel times Sunday night into Monday night. Additionally, we’ve set up a couple first aid stations.”

Motorists should “pack their patience” and visit NewEngland511.org for up-to-date road information.

“We ask people to please plan ahead as much as possible,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner William Cass. “Try to arrive early, stay late, stay put if you can. We ask everybody coming up to find a safe place, maybe some of the parking spaces (Colebrook Town Manager Tim Stevens) mentioned. We don’t want people stopping on roads to try to watch the event.”

Anyone viewing the eclipse is reminded to use specialized glasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s light. Glasses must meet the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.

“Do not look at the sun directly without proper protection,” said Jeanne Gerulskis, Executive Director of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center. “This is really important. The rays from the sun can burn your retina leading to permanent damage. Use eclipse glasses that you buy from legitimate dealers. … Remember to get outside; enjoy this. It’s really a wonderful experience and keep your vision for the next time.”

The Joint Information Center will be activated 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday. The State of New Hampshire Joint Information Center is activated during ongoing incidents to coordinate the timely, accurate, and accessible public information across all state agencies.

The NH Joint Information Center is managed by the Department of Safety through the State Emergency Operations Center on behalf of the Governor’s Office. To contact the NH Joint Information Center, email jic@dos.nh.gov or call (603) 223-6169.

The State Emergency Operations Center also is scheduled to be activated from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday.

Visit NHSolarEclipse.com for more information on parking, planning, safety and events.

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