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Total Solar Eclipse Countdown

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Total Solar Eclipse
in Hays County

Have you heard? Hays County will be the prime viewing location for a stellar event happening soon: the Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024. Our very own Dripping Springs and Wimberley are in the totality! Whether you're a resident, business owner or visitor, this website is a resource to help you prepare for the total eclipse. 

A total solar eclipse happens when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the sun. It is possible Hays County will see many thousands of visitors for the total solar eclipse in 2024. Millions of people will travel into the roughly 100-mile-wide paths across the continent where they can see maximum coverage of the Sun by the Moon.

This influx of people into Hays County will demand tremendous support and resources to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. Hays County Office of Emergency Services is dedicated to working with our local partners: police, fire, EMS, business owners, chambers of commerce, municipal entities and others to help residents and visitors have the most enjoyable, safest experience possible.

We've compiled a few tips and ideas to help our residents, visitors and business owners enjoy the total solar eclipse while also being safe, smart and respectful.

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For Residents and Visitors

Protect yourself from sun-related injuries:

  • Never look directly at an eclipse without eye protection while the sun is moving into and out of place for the total eclipse. Once the moon is covering the sun, eclipse glasses can be removed, and it is safe to look at the corona around the moon.  

  • Never look through the lens of a telescope, binoculars, or camera at an eclipse, unless you have an approved solar filter attached to the front, or you can experience severe eye injuries.

  • Never use regular sunglasses to look at an eclipse. Sunglasses are not enough, and will not protect your eyes from harm.

  • You must use eclipse glasses or eclipse viewers.  

  • To be protective enough, they must be certified, meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard, and be free of scratches to the material.

  • You can also use Welder's glass, no. 13 or 14, which will provide enough protection, yet still allow you to see the eclipse.

  • Get eye protection as soon as you can. As the eclipse date gets closer, it will be harder to find the eye protection you will need for safe viewing, and you may miss out.  

  • Supervise children and ensure they do not look into the sun, to avoid eye injury.  

  • Remember to wear sun protection like sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats if you are going to be outside. The sun can still be bright, and you can receive sunburns. 

Solar Eclipse Survival Bag:

  • Protective eyewear

  • Drinking water

  • Snacks, more substantial food (bring a small cooler)

  • Medications for 2-3 days

  • Mobile phone and charger

  • Rain gear (you never know)

  • Hard copy maps and a compass (goin' old school!)

  • First-aid kit

  • Sunburn medication

  • Important contact numbers written down (consider putting in a plastic sleeve)

  • Cash (in case ATMS and credit card machines are down)

  • Medical bracelets/IDs

  • Insurance cards

  • Trash bags: pack it in, pack it out  - Don't Mess with Texas and Leave Yer Butts in the Car

What to Wear:

  • Appropriate clothing (dress for the weather)

  • Sunscreen and a hat or visor

  • Insect repellant

  • Good walking shoes

  • A smile

Also Good to Have/Do/Know:

  • Sign up for emergency alerts at warncentraltexas.org

  • Kids - bring activities for them (e.g., games, puzzles, toys) and plenty of healthy snacks

  • Pets - bring leashes and harnesses, medications, food, water, poop bags, toys

  • Fuel up/charge your vehicles ahead of time

  • Extra water for overheated cars

  • Fix a flat kit

  • Safety flair

  • Spare tire(s)

  • Air tags (for personal items)

  • Pre-map your route, as well as coffee shops, convenience/grocery
    stores, pharmacies, hospitals/medi-clinics and have hard copies
    (in case cell service is slow or down)

  • Tell friends and family your travel plans; share your location

  • If your hotel or other accommodation has a landline phone number, write it down

  • Know your limits; drink responsibly and never drive while impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • If playing music, keep the volume reasonable

  • Be respectful of people, space, property, vehicles (Employ the Golden Rule); remember you are visiting communities where people live and work

Pack Your Patience!

With quite a few visitors planning trips to Hays County during these events, you may experience:

  • Parking issues - lack of parking, fees for parking, having to park and walk to your destination (Please park only in designated areas and not on private property or in areas that cause safety issues)

  • Traffic delays and road closures

  • Longer wait times for restaurants (consider cooking at "home" instead or bring a small cooler with ready-to-eat food)

  • More congestion (pedestrian and vehicles)

  • Delayed emergency/911 response

  • Cell service interruptions/lack of service

  • Higher than normal stress levels and/or heated tempers

  • Credit card machines not working (bring cash)

The best advice is to plan ahead, leave yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, and keep a positive attitude. You're about to experience a phenomenon like no other! 

For Our Local Businesses

General Tips:

  • Use signage to indicate where visitors can park

  • Avoid price gouging

  • Offer water bottles and snacks

  • Provide a pleasant interaction and great customer service

  • Use volunteers or hire extra temp staff to help direct customers to parking, etc.

  • Deescalate tense situations; remember that law enforcement may be delayed

  • Exhibit patience as we all navigate this influx of visitors

  • Avoid overconsumption of alcohol by guests

  • Consider offering sober rides, shuttles or other transportation

  • Fill or charge vehicles prior to Monday

  • Due to influx of people, cell service may be spotty

  • Consider how you will communicate with employees and vendors if cellular service is down (possibly turn on Wi-Fi calling in your settings)

  • Have manual or hand-operated credit card readers ready, if possible (consider preparing for cash transactions)

  • Consider moving shipment days away from Monday, if possible

  • Download maps if you need to travel

Visit these websites for event-specific information:

Dripping Springs

Wimberley

Hill Country Alliance

Texas Parks & Wildlife

San Marcos

Other eclipse resources:

TxDOT Eclipse Page

Great American Eclipse

NASA - 2024 Total Eclipse

Get Ready Central Texas

Eclipse Prep for Landowners

Total Solar Eclipse Fact Sheet

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Electric Charging Stations in Hays County

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