Public health tips for the 2017 total solar eclipse

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The 2017 total solar eclipse has many agencies going through extensive planning to make sure everyone is safe Aug. 21.

Eastern Idaho Public Health has these tips when it comes to food and water safety, sewage and personal preparedness.

Food Safety

Vendors must get a temporary food license. Vendors have to apply for a permit at least two weeks before the event (in this case, by 5 p.m. on Aug. 4) to allow time for processing. For people consuming, make sure the chosen vendor has proof of their food license.

When in doubt, consumers can call the EIPH environmental health division at (208) 523-5382.

Water Safety

Make sure your drinking water is safe. Private well owners are asked to conduct routine bacteria testing.
A list of certified water testing labs can be found here. Www.Eiph.Idaho.Gov

Disposal of Sewage

Property owners who use septic systems, are encouraged to check them and see if they need to be pumped before Aug. 21 to prevent overloading. If owners are providing port-a-potties, those units will need to be pumped regularly.

A list of permitted septic tank pumpers can be found here. Www.Eiph.Idaho.Gov

Safety and Preparedness

With the massive influx of people coming into the community, residents are encouraged to have an adequate supply of food and water in thier homes. EIPH also recommends making sure all vehicles are full of gas, as lines at gas stations will be long and gasoline may become short in supply.

It is also suggested to have cash available as ATMS may be drained and with internet service being overloaded, debit and credit cards machines may not function properly. Traffic will increase, which will result in travel delays. Also, officials say to have a first-aid kit on hand, as it will take longer than usual for emergency medical technicians to respond to 911 calls.

"With the eclipse coming up, this is a time where you can actually prepare in advance... We can't predict the weather for sure, we can't say how many people are coming in. So what we're trying to do is have the people actually be able to be prepared in advance," said Kellye Eager, the environmental health director at EIPH.

This health and safety information is for the local community and businesses, as well as people coming into the region to view the eclipse.

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