JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KFVS) - The Missouri State Emergency Operations Center will be activated Friday, August 18 through Tuesday, August 22 to monitor conditions and respond to possible requests for assistance.
The Department of Public Safety, State Emergency Management Agency, Missouri State Highway Patrol and other state response partners, including the Missouri Department of Transportation and Department of Natural Resources, have been working together on a coordinated response plan since March.
Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden said, ""This will be a unique event, but we're utilizing the experience gained from other major events that bring in large numbers of people, increased traffic and that have the potential to tax local resources."
Jefferson City is the only state capital in the 14 states in the eclipse path's of totality.
Juden added, "Preplanning and coordination with our state and local partners have been essential, and strong communication throughout the event period will continue."
Jefferson City will host a series of events, including NASA's Journey to Tomorrow traveling exhibit.
The city will also be one of the seven cities from which NASA will broadcast a live feed of the solar eclipse.
Here are some key steps the public can take to reduce traffic and increase safety:
- Plan ahead where you’ll view the eclipse and allow extra time to travel there. You don’t want to view a historic event stuck in traffic! Also, wait for traffic to abate before heading back onto the road. Consider carpooling to reduce traffic.
- Follow news reports beginning over the weekend and especially traffic reports Monday morning for information about local traffic and events that could affect travel. The MoDOT Traveler Information Map is a good resource.
- Avoid unnecessary travel in and near the path of totality on August 21. Consider taking care of routine matters that involve vehicular travel before or after August 21.
- Motorists should be alert and expect the unexpected. Expect additional traffic and avoid distractions. Remember, out of town visitors may not be familiar with traffic patterns or be looking for viewing sites. Watch out for cars on road shoulders and pedestrians. Remember, visibility will be reduced during the eclipse.
- Think of eye safety and only use approved “eclipse glasses.” Looking directly at the sun is unsafe except during the very brief total phase of the eclipse, which will occur only in the narrow path of totality. According to NASA and other experts, the only safe eclipse glasses are verified to be compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard. Even the darkest sunglasses are not safe. Check NASA’s eclipse safety page for details.
The Missouri Department of Public Safety has created an eclipse safety page can be accessed here.