GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Great American Solar Eclipse is only days away and with its fast approach, experts say there are a few things you should avoid.
AVOID LAST MINUTE TRAVEL
With all the excitement, it may be tempting to make some last minute travel plans but experts say this could be a bad idea.
Cities and towns in the zone of totality are going to be swamped for the total eclipse. Hotel rooms are either expensive or hard to come by.
Traffic jams are expected, even on highways and freeways especially in the hours surrounding maximum eclipse. Last minute travel could mean you are stuck in your car for the big event.
Emergency managers in some of the more popular cities are preparing for the event like a natural disaster because of the surplus of people expected to rush to the area.
DON’T USE SUNGLASSES TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN
It has been hard to find eclipse glasses in West Michigan, but don’t settle for a cheap alternative. Eclipse glasses should block out all vision when you wear them.
Anything that does less won’t protect your eyes for a full viewing of the eclipse. Sunglasses are not strong enough to protect your eyes while looking at the sun. Welders glass must be a level 14 to protect you from the sun.
You can still damage your eyes by looking through a camera viewfinder that is focused on the sun for more than a quick picture.
DON’T BE A DATA HOG
As Monday unfolds across the nation, be ready to experience a cellular slow down as people rush to post their solar eclipse selfies.
Some cities are beefing up their cell coverage to handle the surge of users, but it may not be enough. Don’t be surprised if you have a slower network connection on your phone or are unable to make calls.
Experts recommend sticking to uploading pictures rather than trying to stream live video. They also say be aware that phones may lose their battery charge faster than usual in areas where the cell service is compromised.
DON’T FORGET TO PREP YOUR KIDS
School is in session for some on Monday. With the eclipse-hype taking place, kids may be tempted to look at the sun more than they should.
Be sure to talk to your child about the dangers of staring at the sun.
Permanent vision loss is possible. Retinal damage is painless, so kids may not realize they are hurting their eyes until it is too late.
Retinal damage by the sun will appear as black blockages in your vision.
DON’T FORGET TO ENJOY THE MOMENTThe most impressive part of the eclipse this Monday will be over in about 30 minutes. Scientists say, don’t forget to enjoy the eclipse without hiding behind your camera lens. Those who have seen a total solar eclipse say it is a magical moment. Some become overwhelmed, or cry at the moment of totality. Whether you are caught up in the beauty of it or not, scientists say it is important to take the time to appreciate how wonderful our universe is and how very small we are on this earth.