With as many as 500,000 visitors expected in eastern Idaho for the Aug. 21 solar eclipse, Eastern Idaho Public Health has released tips and guidelines for handling food, water and waste.
Food vendors looking to do business at eclipse-related events need to contact public health to either apply for a temporary food license or fill out an exemption form. Applications for licenses are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 4. Public health recommends vendors have licenses openly displayed and encourages buyers to order food only from vendors showing a license.
For those inviting guests to stay or hosting events on their property, water from a private source or well should be tested for bacteria and nitrate. A list of labs in Idaho that will test water can be found at bit.ly/2vecV5y.
The public health news release warns septic tanks will be burdened by the influx of people. Property owners should check to see if their systems need to be pumped to prevent overloading. Porta-potties also will need to be pumped regularly. A list of licensed septic tank pumpers in Idaho can be found at bit.ly/2tO6ma5.
Because it’s unsafe to look directly at the sun during an eclipse, public health recommends eclipse viewing glasses. Insect repellent and long-sleeved shirts are recommended to prevent bites from mosquitoes and ticks. Sunscreen should be applied 20 minutes before going out and at least once every two hours.
Stock up on food, water, cash and gasoline before the eclipse for when of long lines and keep a first-aid kit since police and ambulances may be delayed by traffic.
Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.