Vantage Point recently completed its first of what will likely be many eclipse tabletop exercises for the Indiana Federation of Ambulatory Surgical Centers (IFASC). During the session, teams:
- Prepare for a surge of travelers, visitors, and patients in their city and or county.
- Develop communication plans in the event cell and radio networks become overloaded.
- Participate in a tabletop exercise built specifically to test their operations of specific local areas.
- Plan, facilitate, and evaluate the exercise using the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).
The 2024 solar eclipse is less than 6 months away
Planning has to start now for the April 8, 2024 eclipse in Indiana. Indianapolis is one of two major American cities hosting large events. Already the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced that guests from half of all U.S. states have bought tickets to a joint IMS-NASA eclipse viewing event. Campgrounds, fairgrounds, and private viewing parties are already sold out or near capacity.
Unlike typical plans for large events, like the Indianapolis 500, the eclipse covers miles of highways, roads, and communities and will, literally, cover everyone in the path of totality including hundreds of smaller towns and communities.
The eclipse brings unique challenges for many organizations and agencies:
- Congestion and traffic will increase in the lead-up to the event and afterward.
- Law enforcement in some communities will be tasked with potential city-wide crowd and traffic control.
- Congestion will cause delays and a subsequent increase in collisions.
- An influx of visitors will bring a statistically larger number of people experiencing heart attacks, strokes, falls, injuries, and other ailments.
- 911 call centers are likely to see increased calls and decreased response time.
- Communities may face issues from higher demand on local utilities.
Use this free checklist to quiz yourself against eclipse preparation
“Hospitals and EMS should be discussing how patients will be transported when there is true gridlock due to the eclipse viewers in the area,” says VPC President Troy Jester. “Normal communication methods will likely be overloaded. Redundant communication should be tested and you should know that staff are trained. These are just a few of the overarching concerns that can be focused on when VPC facilitates an eclipse exercise.”
Like all of VPC’s high-quality training and exercise programs, the preparations we do today are guaranteed to prepare people for what’s realistic for them, their partners, and their communities. “There are exercises in a box and exercises that can be found on the internet,” says Jester. “However, when clients engages with VPC, we build the scenario and focus areas are specific to their local resources, response agencies, and local communities.”
Get more information on what VPC can help you or your organization or agency do to prepare for the eclipse
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