2024 Solar Eclipse in Junction, TX
Whether you’re a long-time resident or a first-time visitor, we want to make sure you have the resources you need to make the most of your time in Junction, TX during the eclipse.
Tips for Residents
- Traffic will be heavy and lines for local services such as restaurants, gas stations, grocery, and retail stores may be longer than usual; do what you can ahead of time before the anticipated impact days and allow for extra time to get where you need to go.
- Things to consider doing in advance to make life a little easier during the heaviest congestion periods:
- Errands & Appointments: Schedule your errands and appointments early, before Thursday the 4th if possible. Check ahead if you have plans for Monday the 8th; some services may be closed or have limited hours during this time. By scheduling your errands early, you will beat the crowds and give our local stores and businesses time to restock before the eclipse visitors arrive; this includes grocery shopping, doctor/dentist/veterinary appointments, prescriptions, etc.
- Supplies: Overall, supplies may be limited due to the high demand; which may mean the items you want are not available during the impact days. If there is something important you want, get it early.
- Gas: If you normally fill up your gas tank Friday – Monday, be sure to do that task early, before Thursday, April 4th.
- Cash: If you regularly use cash or want some on hand, consider visiting your local bank or ATM before Thursday, April 4th.
- 911: Know when it is appropriate to call 911 (true emergencies) and have the non-emergency phone number for your local Dispatch Center programmed into your phone ahead of time.
- Cellular Service: With the increased number of visitors, local public safety officials anticipate cellular service may become overwhelmed (primarily Monday the 8th) or have limited access during the impact days. Consider these ideas to assist with communications during this time:
- Develop a communication plan with family and friends if you lose or have limited service.
- If you only have a mobile phone at home, find out which of your neighbors have a landline number in case you need to call 911 for an emergency.
- Public Water Systems: Consider postponing watering your lawn or using “extra” water during the anticipated impact days to take a little pressure off of the public water systems during that time.
- Reminder from Public Health: A food preparation license is required if you plan to prepare and sell perishable food items from your home or business to others.
- All food vendors are required to have applicable permits from Texas Health and Human Services. For more information https://www.dshs.texas.gov/retail-food-establishments Contact Texas Department of State Health Services 1100 West 49th Street Austin, TX 78756 Phone (515) 776-7111 Toll-free (888) 963-7111.
- Also note that vendors are required to register with the City of Junction to sell and or market items. A registration form can be filled out at the city office, $30 fee is required with application. Contact city hall at 730 Main Street Junction, Texas 76849. Phone (325) 446-2622 Fax (325) 446-3003.
- Individual/Family Emergency Plans: Consider the eclipse event a drill to check your emergency kits and emergency plans. If you do not have a kit or have not talked about your emergency plans, now is a great time to do so.
Tips for Visitors
Kimble County, in which Junction resides, has a population of approximately 4,400 and is expected to swell to 36,000+ during the impact period. The City of Junction accounts for approximately 2,500 residents of the County’s total population. It is best to arrive early, come prepared, and have reasonable expectations, given the situation. Once the eclipse begins, you will forget all about the crowds and any small inconveniences it took for you to experience this wondrous event!
Junction is beautiful, but keep local hazards in mind and always know your surroundings.
- While Visiting During The Eclipse Impact Days:
- Don’t think, “We’ll just pick up what we need when we get there.” Supplies, cash, fuel, and restaurant meals may be limited or have long lines due to high demand.
- Think about your personal safety and security:
- Have a good communication plan with your family members. Cell service may be limited due to the increased volume. Have an out-of-area friend or family member you can check in with if you get separated. Pick a landmark where you can reunite if you get separated in a crowd.
- Do not leave valuables in your vehicles. Think through your security plan and how to keep important items secure, i.e., cell phones, telescopes, binoculars, wallets, etc.
- Make sure your vehicle/RV has been serviced and you are all fueled up and ready to go (gas, propane, etc.)
- Help us keep our communities and public areas clean and safe; follow the rule “Pack it in, Pack it out!”
- What to Bring With You:
- Eclipse Viewing Glasses
- Water (plenty of it)
- First Aid Kit
- Necessary medications for you and your pets
- Cash (ATMs may be limited during this time)
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Folding chair
- Jacket or sweatshirt (for the evening hours)
- Snacks/food for the hours and days you plan to be with us
- Prepaid phone card – if you need to call long distance and cellular service is not available
- Maps of the area if you need directions (print your directions and bring them with you); your cellular service may be limited during heaviest impact times
Tips for Businesses
- Junction and Kimble County expect a significant increase in visitors over a normal summer holiday weekend. This could be a great opportunity for business, but you will need to be prepared. Grocery stores, gas stations, hotels, restaurants, transportation services, coffee shops, retail stores, urgent care/walk-in clinics, and many other establishments will experience a jump in business.
- What You Can Do to Prepare Your Business:
- Back-up Plans: Prepare for an increase in customers; have needed supplies on hand and early; consider extending hours of operation to meet customer needs and have back-up plans if staff is delayed due to traffic.
- Employee Preparedness: Encourage employees to have a full tank of gas; have their own resources ready at home; have daycare needs met, etc. by Thursday, April 4th. Gas stations may be very busy or may be waiting on resupply. Make sure your staff can get to work, so give them reminders to plan ahead and share the “Tips for Residents” on this website.
- Cash/Financial Transactions:
- Be prepared for more cash transactions; consider having extra tills set up to accommodate more cash transactions. You may have larger than normal deposits over the weekend. Check ahead of time if your bank will be open on Monday, the 8th.
- How does your credit/debit card machine access the internet? If you use cell service/cell wireless service for your transactions, be prepared with a backup plan. We anticipate a high demand for cellular service during the impact period, especially Monday, the 8th. You may find you are not able to make transactions; have a backup plan to meet your customers’ needs.
- Communications: Anticipate possible cellular service disruptions due to the increased demand. Visitors may have urgent requests to use your landline business phone if cell service is limited; decide how you want to handle these requests and make sure employees know what to do. If it is a 911 emergency and you have a landline…be ready to help!!
- Regularly Scheduled Deliveries: Evaluate when you receive your regular deliveries; deliveries scheduled for Monday, April 8th may be significantly delayed due to the overwhelming amount of vehicles trying to come in and leave Junction and Kimble County. Consider rescheduling for Tuesday or ordering extra the week before.
- Restrooms: Be aware many visitors will be camping in authorized and potentially unauthorized locations; expect customers who may be primarily interested in using business restrooms. Public restrooms will be in short supply and port-a-potties in limited locations may be at capacity until service providers can empty them.
- Weather and Your Business: If conditions are cloudy with the potential to block the sun, visitors and “day trippers” will leave town for the closest area that has clear skies; there is no way to predict this, but monitoring the weather the week to 10 days prior to 04/08/24 could be very useful for your business.