How to safely watch the eclipse

Good Morning Utah

A solar eclipse is happening on August 21st. Rich Woodruff from the Utah Red Cross joined GMU with safe viewing tips for the eclipse.  Millions of people are expected to make travel plans to see the first solar eclipse visible in this country in 99 years, and the American Red Cross prepared to help them if needed.

More than 7 million people are expected to travel to an area stretching from Oregon to South Carolina to see the eclipse. This influx of millions of people into the 70-mile wide eclipse viewing area is expected to cause major traffic problems for days before, during, and after the eclipse, as well as creating lodging shortages.
 
The Red Cross is coordinating with local emergency agencies along the viewing path to ensure they are collectively prepared for any contingency.  For example, the Red Cross has hundreds of emergency shelters in the 12 states that will be touched by the eclipse in case of other emergencies such as severe weather and extreme heat that might occur while travelers are away from home.
 
 
Pack an emergency kit in case you get stuck in traffic or can’t find a place to stay. Include water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items including toilet paper, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.
 
The Red Cross and emergency officials in the region are urging people planning to travel to see the eclipse to come prepared:
 
  • Be informed. Learn how officials contact people in the area you are planning to visit in case of an emergency.
  • Let family or friends know where you are going and the route you plan to take to get there.
  •  Arrive at where you plan to watch the eclipse at least a day ahead of time
  • Check the weather forecast ahead of time and throughout the day
  • Dress in layers so you can adjust for changes in weather conditions.
  • Create an emergency plan. Determine a location to meet in case someone gets separated from your group, and where to go if severe weather occurs.
  •  Because cell service may be overwhelmed, print out your directions.
  •  Know where you’re staying at night. Hotel rooms along the eclipse route are mostly sold out, and rentals are extremely high in some cities. Plan to camp if necessary.
  • Keep your gas tank full so you don’t run out while stuck in traffic

If you are planning to view the eclipse, remember, looking directly at the sun is unsafe. For steps to take to observe a solar eclipse safely, please refer to information from NASA at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.