Safety Tips for Total Eclipse by SC Municipal Association

15 Aug Safety Tips for Total Eclipse by SC Municipal Association

On August 21, 2017, millions of people across the country will gather to see one of mother-nature’s most amazing events as the moon completely blocks the sun. The path of this total solar eclipse, the likes of which has not occurred for 99 years, lies exclusively within the United States.

With spectators coming from around the world, some 140 South Carolina cities and towns are positioned to offer a memorable weekend followed by an awe-inspiring few minutes.

In preparation for the approximately 2 ½-minute event (length depends on where a city sits inside the path of the eclipse) cities should consider the risks associated with hosting large crowds.

If the city is sponsoring a free public viewing event, make sure there is some shade and cool beverages. Consider hiring a vendor to manage or support parking, traffic and sanitation efforts. Coordinate with public safety officials and logistics organizers. Security should be heightened, considering the recent attacks seen around the world. Minimize outdoor construction and maintenance activities on the day of the eclipse, since the event is expected to attract additional onlookers and travelers on the city’s roads and properties.

Individuals planning to watch the eclipse should be careful. Looking directly at the sun with the naked eye or through an optical aid can be extremely dangerous, and there is only a brief phase, “totality,” when the moon completely blocks the sun during which onlookers can remove their glasses.

Take the following steps:

Check for local information on the timing of when the total eclipse will begin and end. NASA’s page of eclipse times is a good place to start.

Don’t stare at the sun. It’s too bright for the eye.

Research and purchase special-purpose solar filters, “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers.
Smoked glass, X-ray films, sunglasses, and camera filters, for example, are all dangerous and should be avoided completely for viewing.

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