In a few months, North America is set to witness a solar eclipse. This upcoming total eclipse is the final one for North America until March 30, 2033, and then it will only be visible in the state of Alaska. The next total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States will occur on August 23, 2044.

Anticipation is high for this solar event, projected to be the largest mass travel event in the United States. For many North Americans, this presents a rare opportunity to witness a solar eclipse easily in their lifetimes.

Ellettsville and Monroe County will be in the path of totality for the April 8th eclipse, drawing significant attention our way. Consequently, we anticipate thousands of visitors in our community around April 8th. While this is both exciting and a bit overwhelming, we acknowledge the impact this event will have on our community. Planning and communication are key to ensuring a smooth experience for businesses and residents.

Our focus is on keeping our Chamber members well-informed, aware of preparations, and providing guidance on how to prepare themselves and their businesses for this historic event. We invited community experts to participate in a Solar Eclipse Preparedness Panel on January 19, 2024. Captured below are their recommendations and links for additional information.

Our panelists included:

Chris Clouse, Deputy Fire Chief, Ellettsville Fire Department

Mike Cornman, Emergency Management Coordinator for IU Health, South Central Region

Michael Farmer, Ellettsville Town Manager

Mike McAfee, Visit Bloomington

Zach Michael, Lieutenant, Ellettsville Police Department

Jamie Neibel, Director, Monroe County Emergency Management

Key things for Businesses to focus on in order to prepare for the 2024 Solar Eclipse

  • Plan where you’re going to be and allow plenty of time to get there
  • Buy gas and groceries prior to the weekend of the eclipse
  • Have a plan for how you will deal with people in your parking lot and on your property even if you’re not there
  • Plan for reduced communications. The influx of people will put a strain on our cell towers and internet connections
  • Card readers may not work or may be slow, be sure to have cash on hand for transactions
  • Try to arrange for any deliveries to your business prior to or after the solar eclipse
  • Write a plan. You can submit it to for review and advice from the experts at Ellettsville Police Department and Ellettsville Fire Department.
  • Take Care of yourself, your family and your employees – Think of this as a disaster plan, make sure you have plenty of food and water and prepare for their safety
  • Make sure you communicate your plan with your employees
  • Start letting your customers know your hours or if you’ll be closed the day of the eclipse
  • Expect delayed response time from emergency services
  • If you have a large area that you plan to rent for parking spaces, consider using a private security company to help with parking issues and to make sure traffic flows in and out
  • If you have a large area where people may be parking, consider renting a porta potty
  • Use the links below for more information on how to prepare and what to expect

Watch the CATS broadcast of the Ellettsville Chamber Solar Eclipse Preparedness panel

Helpful Links:

If you have an eclipse plan you can submit it to for review and advice from the experts at Ellettsville Police Department and Ellettsville Fire Department.

Monroe County Total Solar Eclipse 2024 Webpage

Total solar eclipse information and recommendations for local business:

Towing and Recovery Companies in Monroe County

Visit Bloomington Solar Eclipse Webpage

IU Public Safety Plans

Ellettsville Total Solar Eclipse Information

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