How to Stay Home Safely During Solar Eclipse

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun. On Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all of North America. The whole continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting 2 to 3 hours. Halfway through the event, anyone within a roughly 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina (https://go.nasa.gov/2pC0lhe (link is external)) will experience a brief total eclipse, when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds, turning day into night and making visible the otherwise hidden solar corona — the sun’s outer atmosphere — one of nature’s most awesome sights. Bright stars and planets will become visible as well.

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An eclipse is a rare and striking phenomenon you won’t want to miss, but you must carefully follow safety procedures. Don’t let the requisite warnings scare you away from witnessing this singular spectacle! You can experience the eclipse safely, but it is vital that you protect your eyes at all times with the proper solar filters. No matter what recommended technique you use, do not stare continuously at the sun. Take breaks and give your eyes a rest! Do not use sunglasses: they don’t offer your eyes sufficient protection. One excellent resource for safe solar eclipse viewing is here: http://www.nasa.gov/content/eye-safety-during-a-total-solar-eclipse

  • Keep at least one fire extinguisher on each floor, and be sure to keep one in the kitchen. Show family members and household help how to use them.
  • Periodically check smoke detectors and replace batteries when necessary.
  • Keep flashlights in several areas in the house. Check the batteries often, especially if you have children in your home. (They love to play with flashlights!)

Establish safe family living patterns. If you understand the importance of your contribution to the family’s overall security, the entire household will be safer.

While at home, you and your family should rehearse safety drills and be aware of procedures to escape danger and get help.

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Furnish the safehaven with an emergency kit.

It is highly unlikely you would spend more than a few hours in a safehaven; however, the supplies listed below are suggested for your maximum safety.

The following is a checklist of possible safehaven supplies.

  • Fire extinguisher
  • Fresh water
  • 5-day supply of food
  • Candles, matches, flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Bedding
  • Toilet facilities
  • Sterno stove, fuel
  • Shortwave or other radio
  • Medical/first aid kit

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