REDMOND, Ore. - Agencies working together to keep eclipse chaos to a minimum now have a home base. The multi-agency Joint Information Center is up and running at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.
Key players from numerous federal, state and local agencies are all under one roof and in one room where they’ll be able to coordinate whatever the eclipse and the big crowds coming to see it throw at them.
“We have over 70 folks here in the fairground facility who are doing everything from logistics to communications, to make sure people have what they need out here,” Julianne Repman, manager of the coordination center, said Thursday.
The facility houses officials with more than 20 agencies, and according to the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network, it’s the largest pre-planned response effort ever established in the region.
“The great thing is having the resources in the room with us, and then we have real-time information,” said Craig Daugherty, operations section chief of the Southwest Area Incident Management Team, called in to help manage area wildfires.
The joint coordination means quicker feeding of timely and accurate updates.
“Let’s say that we have a fire, and it begins to impact a highway, and then it begins to impact air quality,” Repman said. “Because we’re all together, we can really start pushing out single messages, so that there’s no confusion out there for the community.”
So far it seems like messages are being received.
ODOT spokesman Peter Murphy said, “We’ve asked people to fuel up, for example, and store some supplies on hand, and I think that’s exactly what’s going on.”
The command center will be up and running through the eclipse and aftermath, responding to situations as they unfold.
You can find the most up to date information from the JIC here: