Area governments are preparing for the upcoming dates when an abundance of people could potentially descend upon rural Nevada.
Nye County is taking precautions for the potential of a large influx in traffic and masses of people that had signed up to descend upon a top-secret Air Force base known as Area 51 through a tongue-in-cheek Facebook post. Though the post’s creator has moved toward holding a festival in downtown Las Vegas, Nye County and other local governments have announced they are readying for potential fallout.
On Sept. 13, Nye County stated on social media that “Residents of Amargosa Valley, Beatty and Tonopah are encouraged to stock up on essential supplies such as food, water, fuel and medicines ahead of next weekend’s unknown influx of people to the region for the Storm Area 51 event.”
The Facebook post was created by Matty Roberts. His event, known as “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” attracted more than 2 million people who are seeking out extraterrestrials, believed by many to be housed at the military facility.
The original meeting point was the Area 51 Alien Center in Amargosa Valley, where attendees would eventually “storm” the Area 51 military base in Nevada.
Since then, Roberts shifted gears and was looking, until recently, to put on a festival known as “Alienstock” in Rachel, Nevada. Roberts, however, pulled out of that event in mid-September in favor of having a gathering in downtown Las Vegas.
Roberts, along with his business partner Brock Daily, issued a cease and desist letter to Connie West, who owns the Little A’Le’Inn in Rachel, in mid-September “stating that she was no longer to use the term “Alienstock” and they deemed the event canceled due to lack of preparation,” a Sept. 13 report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal stated.
On alienstockfestival.com, it was stated that “Due to the lack of infrastructure, planning and risk management, along with concerns raised for the safety of the expected 10,000-plus attendees, we decided to transition Alienstock away from the Rachel festival toward a safer alternative.”
The statement continued: “We are officially disconnecting from the Little A’Le’Inn, Rachel Nevada, and Alienstock’s affiliation with them. We will no longer offer our logo, social media, website or Matty Roberts likeness or scheduled appearance. In short, the relationship has ended permanently.”
Festivals in Rachel and Hiko are planned to occur this weekend.
Though no permitted events are planned in southern Nye County related to the Area 51 Facebook post, officials in the county are monitoring the situation.
According to a Facebook post from Nye County, “Emergency Management will continue to monitor the situation through Sunday, Sept. 22.”
Nye County’s statement on Facebook said, “…There is still concern that a large number of people may gather in Amargosa Valley. Nye County Department of Emergency Management and the Sheriff’s Office have been working with state and federal partners to assure the health and safety of residents and anyone who may visit the county.”
Nye County has been operating under a declaration of emergency since the end of August.
According to the county’s post, “The Declaration enables the state to allocate resources to the county as needed while partnering on strategy and tactics.”
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at firstname.lastname@example.org on Twitter @MeehanLv
A closer look
Officials in Lincoln County have called upon Amateur radio operators (also known as hams) to help with communication during the festival in Rachel, Nevada and potential influx of people coming to the area in light of the “Area 51” phenomenon.
“With very little infrastructure in Rachel, the Lincoln County Sheriff, Kerry Lee, and Emergency Manager, Eric Holt, activated the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) in Lincoln, Clark, and Nye counties,” according to a statement from the American Radio Relay League.
The Amateur radio operators were deployed on Tuesday, according to the statement.
The Amateur radio operators are setting up “stations and placing several portable repeaters and link stations in the areas of Alamo, Hiko, Tickaboo Valley as well as Rachel to support the event,” the statement read. “The goal is to provide timely and accurate communication to the incident command so that appropriate action/reaction can happen.”
The operators will be in place through Sunday, Sept. 22, according to the release.
“Travelling through remote areas where there is no internet and no cell phone coverage, it is incumbent to maintain voice communication with the command post for accidents can occur involving life threatening instances regardless of the eventual number of attendees,” the statement read. “Amateur radio operators are often the first to provide critical and timely information.”
On top of the ham radios in the event area, Clark County ARES members are set to staff the Clark County Emergency Communications Center (ECC) to monitor the event, according to the release.
“Amateur radio is growing in the US. There are now over 760,000 Amateur Radio Licensees in the US, and more than 2.5 million around the world,” the statement read. “Through the American Radio Relay League’s Amateur Radio Emergency Service program, ham volunteers provide emergency communications for thousands of state and local emergency response agencies and non‐ emergency community services too, all for free.”
— Jeffrey Meehan, Pahrump Valley Times
What does an emergency declaration mean?
The declaration of emergency empowers the county to enact a variety of emergency restrictive measures in order to protect the public. The actions authorized by the declaration may be undertaken by the Nye County Commission or, in the event that the commission is not able to take action in a timely manner, Nye County Manager Tim Sutton may do so. If both Sutton and the commission cannot immediately address a problem that threatens the peace and safety of the public, then Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly will be authorized to act on their behalf.
Emergency orders sanctioned by the declaration include actions such as establishing a curfew, barricading the streets, prohibiting the sale of alcohol, redirecting funds for emergency use and even ordering the closure of all or portion of gas stations and other businesses that sell, distribute or dispose of liquid flammable or combustible products.
— Robin Hebrock, Pahrump Valley Times