Tidelands Health offers important tips for eclipse preparation
The upcoming solar eclipse will be an historic event for the Tidelands region, parts of which will experience full “totality,” where the sun is fully hidden behind the moon.
As a result of the region’s prime viewing location, thousands of people are expected to travel into the area to witness the event. Tidelands Health is encouraging people to thoroughly prepare for the influx of visitors and to take steps to safely watch the event.
- Replenish food, water, prescription medications, sunscreen, bug repellant and other important supplies in advance of the eclipse. Always make sure to have adequate provisions for at least 72 hours.
- Avoid walking through tall grass or other areas where you are more likely to encounter ticks and snakes.
- Allow ample time for travel before, during and after the eclipse. Severe congestion is expected.
- Fill up your car with fuel before the eclipse.
- If you are driving during the eclipse, do not stop on the highway or in the middle of the road to watch the event. Do not look at the sun while driving. Do not wear solar eclipse glasses while driving.
- Do not look directly at the sun during the eclipse unless you are wearing solar eclipse glasses or other eye protection that meets ISO 12312-2 international safety standards. The approximately 80,000 pairs of eclipse glasses distributed by Tidelands Health meet the standards and come directly from two of the verified manufacturers. All Tidelands Health glasses have been claimed, but glasses may be available for purchase at retailers.
- The only time it is safe to look directly toward the sun with the naked eye is during the period of totality. Locally, only people who live in a path that extends from south Pawleys Island to south of Charleston will experience totality, according to NASA. The entirety of Horry County, for example, will only experience a partial eclipse. As a result, anyone watching the eclipse from Horry County should wear protective eyewear for the duration of the event.
- Prevent heat-related illness by drinking ample amounts of fluid and by wearing loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing. Seek a cool place if you begin to feel overheated. Individuals taking certain medications that increase the risk of heat-related illness should be especially careful and talk to a qualified physician about special precautions that may be necessary.
- Avoid sunburn by wearing sunscreen, even in overcast skies. Reapply regularly per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Prepare for unreliable cell phone communications. Stay near a landline phone in case of emergency. Make sure you have a family emergency communications plan.
- GPS service may be unreliable. Plan to use paper maps to aid navigation.
- Have cash on hand to make purchases in case of problems with debit or credit card transactions.