HHS Issues Emergency Preparedness Resources for August Solar Eclipse

PUBLISHED: Jul 20, 2017
Relevant to: Ambulatory Care, Critical Access Hospitals, Hospitals, Medical Office/Clinic

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible in a path across the U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina, from early morning through the afternoon. Millions of people are expected to travel to locations across the country to view this rare event. Many of the viewing locations are rural areas with limited health care infrastructure, and since these sites are not (yet) officially sponsored, the typical augmentation of resources that accompanies planned mass gatherings will not take place.

To help address planning and response concerns and help local emergency healthcare providers plan for these gatherings, the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response has made available fact sheets, checklists, locally-developed guidance documents, and news articles on eye safety, injury treatment, and planned mass gatherings in rural and urban areas.

Some of the topics addressed include:

  • Eclipse Eye Safety
  • Eclipse Eye Injury Treatment
  • Federal Resources
  • Locally-Developed Resources (e.g., plans, tools, and templates)
  • News Articles
  • Education and Training
  • General Guidance: Planned Mass Gatherings
  • General Guidance: Rural Emergency Preparedness
  • Guidance: Helicopter Rescue
  • Lessons Learned: Rural Areas
  • Plans, Tools, and Templates
  • Plans, Tools, and Templates: Rural Areas
  • Surge Planning (from Urban to Rural Areas)

Included with today’s notice are example policies related to emergency preparedness.

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