Total eclipse, so be smart

This afternoon, the earth will cross the shadow of the moon, a phenomenon that only takes place every 40 years. The excitement has been building, approved glasses have been in high demand, and now the day is here. Anna Belote, director, Safety and Emergency Prep, offers these two points of caution for those planning to watch.

More than 300 million people in the U.S. could potentially view the total solar eclipse today. While exciting to see, there are some safety tips you should follow to keep you and your family safe.

Eye protection is very important. NASA has provided information to ensure eclipse gazers have specific, eclipse viewing glasses and/or handheld solar viewers that meet the following criteria:

  • Certification information with a designated ISO 12312-2 international standard.
  • They should have the manufacturer’s name and address printed somewhere on the product.
  • They should not be used if they are older than three years or have scratched or wrinkled lenses.
  • Do not use homemade filters.
  • Ordinary sunglasses (even very dark ones) should not be used as a replacement for eclipse viewing glasses or handheld solar viewers.

Remember, the safest time to view the eclipse is when the sun is completely behind the moon.

While Indiana has not been designated as a state which will experience eclipse totality, it is likely to draw numerous individuals, as well as groups including schools, enthusiast communities, and other entities and organizations who will want to view the phenomenon. Please plan accordingly and allow for extra travel time. Also, if you will be driving to a location to find the “perfect spot” in which to view the eclipse, please follow road signs and traffic laws. Park in a safe location, off of the road, and get out of your vehicle to watch. Avoid distracted driving and be aware of other drivers around you.


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