SCEMD: A Million Visitors Expected for Total Eclipse 2017
Monday, July 17th, 2017
On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will be visible along a thin, roughly 100 mile-wide path that runs diagonally across America from Oregon to South Carolina. At 2:41 p.m. on Monday, August 21, 2017, viewers who have gathered in areas like Columbia, S.C., will experience the longest period of 100% total eclipse for a metro area on the entire East Coast of the United States — ranging from 2 minutes and 30 seconds to 2 minutes and 36 seconds of total darkness.
- Prepare for a big jump in customers. Grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, transportation services, coffee shops, retail stores, urgent care clinics and many other establishments will experience a jump in business. We encourage them to order goods and schedule staff accordingly.
- Be aware that many visitors will be camping in both authorized and unauthorized locations; expect customers who may be primarily interested in using rest rooms.
- Encourage employees to have a full tank of gas prior to the time visitors begin to arrive in the area. Lines for fuel may occur and you’ll want staff to be able to get to work.
- Be prepared for more cash transactions and potential challenges with credit/debit card transactions taking longer than usual because of increased volumes. Consider having tills set up to accommodate more cash transactions.
- Be prepared for cell service overloads; there may be service disruptions due to the increase in visitors using networks. Visitors may have urgent requests to use your business telephone line if they are having trouble with cell service. Decide how you want to handle these requests and make sure employees know what to do.
- Talk to suppliers. Some suppliers may be considering delivery schedule changes due to the event(s). Suppliers may also be looking at how the increased traffic on rural roads may impact delivery times.