Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, issued an emergency response order to prepare for the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

“A statewide disaster emergency exists to ensure preparedness for the total solar eclipse. This declaration is effective immediately and shall terminate at 11:59 p.m. on April 9, 2024,” Holcomb stated in the executive order.

“Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the Hoosier state to catch a glimpse of the once-in-a-lifetime event on April 8. The next total solar eclipse in the United States won’t be until 2044, so it’s easy to understand why so many people plan to travel,” WHAS 11 stated.

WHAS 11 reports:

The path of totality extends from Texas to Maine and cuts straight through southern Indiana.

State and local agencies have been preparing for the solar eclipse since last year.

Holcomb’s executive order, signed Wednesday, will provide additional support the anticipated needs of Indiana’s emergency response, transportation, communication and critical infrastructure systems due to the anticipated number of visitors.

The order allows Indiana to utilize resources from other states who are members of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).

According to the governor’s office, once a governor issues an order, EMAC members “can and will share equipment and communications systems to help support state resources” to ensure residents’ safety, care and welfare in the event of an emergency during the event.

The executive order reads:

WHEREAS,on April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will pass directly over the State of Indiana, giving everyone in our state an incredible view of this extremely rare event. The last total solar eclipse to pass over Indiana occurred in 1869, and the next is not expected to occur until 2099;

WHEREAS,it is anticipated the State of Indiana will see a significant influx of several hundred thousand visitors to witness, what will be for nearly all, a once-in-a-lifetime event;

WHEREAS,it is of primary importance to the State of Indiana to be prepared to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public during this event and to be prepared to swiftly and effectively respond to any emergency that may arise;

WHEREAS, over the last year, state and local agencies have been preparing for this event and it is anticipated there may well be widespread and significant impact placed on Indiana’s emergency response, transportation, communication, and other critical infrastructure systems by this tremendous influx of visitors throughout the state;

WHEREAS, the massive number of people viewing this event in our state may well stress and/or interfere with first responder and public safety communications and emergency response systems such that a technological or other emergency may occur;

WHEREAS, the State of Indiana is a member of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) wherein a member state can, upon a governor’s declaration of a disaster emergency, call upon resources in another state to be on hand or available, which resources are essential to the safety, care, and welfare of the people; and

WHEREAS, other member states of the EMAC have communications and other equipment which can be provided in advance to the State of Indiana so it is in place and able to augment Indiana’s resources should the need suddenly arise in connection with this very large and unique event.

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