In preparation for the upcoming total solar eclipse on April 8th, a final planning meeting convened this week in Chautauqua County at the Emergency Operations Center. 

Over 15 different agencies were in attendance for this week’s meeting discussing eclipse planning preparations, focusing on the importance of effective communication.

“This meeting was the culmination of about a years' worth of plannings and meetings to get all of our different community partners and municipal partners who are going to be involved together." stated Noel Guttman, Chautauqua County Emergency Management Director. "Law enforcement is going to be a huge component of this operation, Dispatch, and our 42 Fire Departments in the county, it’s all a collaborative effort to get through this.”

Agencies in attendance included the U.S. Coast Guard, Chautauqua County Police, County Firefighters, Emergency Services, New York State Police, the New York Department of Transportation and representatives from Pennsylvania including the Warren County Department of Public Safety and Sherrif’s Office.

The primary focus of the meeting was emphasizing the importance of clear communication across all entities and state lines.

“We have been working across state lines together," stated Scott Neiswonger, Warren County Sheriff. "We have a good cooperation between New York and Pennsylvania. It's important to be on the same page, to make sure that we know the resources that they have, and they know the resources that we have. It is definitely a positive thing. I feel that we are as comfortable and prepared as we can be.”

Representatives from Chautauqua County also discussed the addition of a Compact Rapid Deploy-able Device recently acquired by the county executives.

This device will aid in providing internet access should any cell phone towers fail due to increased usage during the celestial event.

All agencies involved have been diligently preparing for an increase in visitors to the area, calculating and weighing any possible stress that this may place upon emergency services and county resources, and are hopeful that their efforts will ensure a safe and memorable experience for everyone involved.

For more information and updates on everything related to the eclipse, visit here.