Springfield News-Sun

How to prepare for the eclipse

- Kettering Health

We’re two weeks away from one of the biggest events in the past 300 to 400 years. On April 8, between approximat­ely 3:09 p.m. and 3:12 p.m., Greater Dayton will experience a total solar eclipse.

Because Dayton is one of the cities in the path of full totality, the city’s population could triple, even quadruple, from visitors looking to witness the unique event, according to the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA).

Dr. Cassandra Booher, an emergency management specialist with Kettering Health, emphasized, “It is important to follow the guidelines to help limit the risk of eye and property damage. If you plan to view the eclipse, please take a few extra minutes of preparatio­n to ensure that you and your family can safely experience this once-in-alifetime event.”

Weather: Early April can bring many possible weather conditions, including severe storms.

Monitor the weather forecast. Download the FEMA app to receive weather alerts for the area(s) you’ll visit.

Pack an emergency kit in your vehicle.

Fuel: The increased number of travelers leading up to and on the day of the eclipse could cause temporary fuel shortages.

Fill up your gas tank two to three days before the eclipse, whether you’re planning to travel to watch the event or not.

Communicat­ions: With an influx of people in one area using their cellphones, prepare for disruption­s to service.

Bring or have a paper map.

Create a communicat­ion plan with your family in advance in case you’re separated and can’t call them.

Eye protection: It’s harmful to look directly at the sun during a solar eclipse without proper safety equipment.

You need to wear specific eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewers with special lenses to safely view the eclipse. Confirm your eyewear is marked with ISO 12312-2 (also written as ISO 12312-2:2015).

Do not wear regular sunglasses.

Do not look at the eclipse through binoculars, a telescope or a camera lens, including your cellphone, without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics.

Travel: With so many more drivers on the road, traffic on highways and local roads is likely to be worse.

Plan your route, determinin­g where you’ll safely park to view the eclipse.

Do not pull off to the side of a road to view the eclipse.

Do not try to view the eclipse while driving.

Be prepared for traffic before and most notably after the eclipse. Main highways will be especially congested. Be patient and courteous to keep yourself and other drivers safe.

If you need to be somewhere that afternoon, give yourself plenty of time for travel.

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