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Stock up on food and water, expect cell phone issues during solar eclipse, police warn

A first-generation iPhone. (Carl Berkeley/Flickr)
March 22, 2024

As states prepare for the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, New York authorities have issued multiple warnings to residents and travelers. Authorities have warned that people may experience significant cell phone reception disruptions and have encouraged people to stock up on water, food, and fuel prior to the solar eclipse event.

In a Thursday press release, The New York State Police warned state residents to prepare for potential disruptions to cellular reception, traffic congestion, delayed emergency response times, and high demand for food and water on the day of the solar eclipse.

“The New York State Police, in close collaboration with other state, local, and federal law enforcement, emergency services, and transportation agencies, has meticulously developed an emergency operation plan,” the New York State Police wrote. “Our unwavering goal is to provide a comprehensive and uniform presence, ensuring the safety of both visitors and residents as they experience and travel home from the eclipse.”

The New York State Police encouraged residents and individuals traveling for April’s solar eclipse event to have their vehicles fueled or charged the day before the eclipse, have extra food and water in their vehicles, shop prior to the day of the eclipse, have their cell phones charged, and carry additional phone chargers.

READ MORE: 70,000+ cell phone users impacted by nationwide outage

Lynnea Crane, Troop E New York State Police’s public information officer, told, “We’re trying to make sure we have enough resources, so we’re definitely collaborating with local, state, federal agencies.”

Crane added, “Make sure that your car is fueled up, that you have plenty of groceries, water, prescriptions. Make sure that things that you might normally do on that day, maybe you can kind of put them off if you can. If not, prepare ahead of time.”

According to The Daily Mail, with millions of people expected to travel to the cities and regions inside the path of totality during April’s solar eclipse, experts have warned that cellular reception could be significantly impacted.

“Cell phone (reception) will be very, very sketchy. There will be lots of issues with connectivity and that type of thing,” Rebecca Owens, Richland County Emergency Management Agency’s director, told Richland Source.

The Daily Mail reported that in order to address the cell phone reception concerns, companies like T-Mobile and Verizon have announced that additional cellular sites and portable towers will be deployed to regions inside the path of totality.