In the next year and a half, Kerrville will be in the centerline, or path of totality, for two different eclipses! Kerrville will experience the first, which is an annular solar eclipse or “ring of fire,” on October 14, 2023. The second eclipse Kerrville will see is a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. During a total eclipse, the moon completely blocks the sun. Even though the sun is about 400 times larger than the moon, the distance between each solar body creates the illusion that they’re the same size in the sky when viewed from earth.
The 2023 eclipse in October is estimated to be in total annularity for 4 minutes and 15 seconds. The total solar eclipse in 2024 is expected to be in totality for about 4 minutes and 24 seconds. For more information and details about the upcoming eclipses, please visit www.kerrvilleeclipse.com.
Community Preparation and Safety
While Kerrville expects a large influx of visitors for the 2023 eclipse, the 2024 eclipse is the event our community must prepare for. The City of Kerrville anticipates the total solar eclipse will draw the most significant number of guests our community has ever encountered. Your first thought hearing this might be to “get out of dodge,” but we encourage you to make plans to witness this historic, once-in-a-lifetime event for the Hill Country. The last time Texas was enveloped by a total solar eclipse was July 1878. The total solar eclipse coming to our area is an event that’s hard to convey into words, but those that have experienced a total solar eclipse describe it as a bucket list experience that takes your breath away and that photographs or videos don’t do it justice.
We encourage our community to stay in town, prepare in advance, and also make plans to take advantage of the tourism boost and tremendous economic impact that this historic impact will bring. For more insight to the great economic impact the eclipse will have on our community, visit www.skift.com/2017/12/11/solar-eclipse-tourism-impact.
In order to keep yourself, our community members, and visitors safe, here are some tips to help you prepare:
- Purchase essentials ahead of time. Before the large influx of tourists make their way into town, visit the grocery store and gas station. Stock up on essentials such as water, food, and other groceries that will last you and your household 3-4 days. In addition, fill up your gas tanks ahead of time. This will help prevent shortages in grocery stores and gas stations once visitors arrive.
- Avoid leaving your residence to minimize traffic hazards. With such a large number of people in the area, traffic will be unlike anything Kerrville has seen before. Traffic management will be in full effect the day of and days surrounding the eclipses, and staying home can help ease some of this stress from our police and fire departments.
- Viewing and eye safety. For the 2023 eclipse, there is never a time when viewing it without special safety eclipse glasses is safe. Viewing the 2023 annular solar eclipse with unprotected eyes can cause permanent damage such as spotty or blurry vision and, in extreme cases, blindness. For the 2024 eclipse, however, viewing it is a little different. Safety eclipse glasses are still required to view the eclipse except for when the sun is totally covered by the moon. In other words, the only time it is safe to look at the 2024 eclipse without safety eclipse glasses, is during totality when the moon has completely blocked the sun.
Special eclipse safety glasses will be available for purchase at the City of Kerrville and the Kerrville Convention & Visitors Bureau in early 2023, as well as other businesses in the area. Eclipse safety glasses can also be purchased online, but it is crucial that they are purchased from a reputable source such as https://eclipse2024.org/glasses_order.html#table and https://www.eclipseglasses.com/pages/amazon-approved-vendors.
- Plan ahead in case of cell phone or internet service issues. The large number of expected visitors in Kerrville can cause issues or disruptions in the cell or internet service because these infrastructures are not built for the number of people Kerrville is expecting. Have a set plan with your friends and family in case you are unable to contact them.
- Register your event with kerrvilleeclipse.com. If you plan on hosting a public or private event or having a viewing location, please fill out the form on the website link above.