Solar Eclipse Safety Check: 3 Things To Know

by Abby Badach on

Here comes the sun…

On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, North America will get a rare glimpse of a total solar eclipse. According to NASA, a total eclipse happens only once every hundred years or so – so it’s safe to say this is a once-in-a-lifetime event for many folks.

While a solar eclipse doesn’t bring the type of immediate destruction you’d see from other natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes or floods… it does present some unique risks.

Here’s how to make this eclipse viewing an enjoyable (and safe) experience.

1. Don’t look directly at the sun.

The human eye is extremely sensitive. Staring at even the smallest sliver of the visible sun can cause permanent eye damage.

Before you buy those on-trend eclipse viewing glasses, make sure they’re the real deal. Regular sunglasses simply don’t offer the same level of protection, and some scammers are trying to pass knock-offs as the real thing.

NASA has verified that these 5 manufacturers meet safety standards that will offer your eyes proper protection.

2. Keep your eyes on the road.

Our 2016 study of Twitter and Instagram data showed that people stare at the sky #whiledriving… even when there’s not an eclipse going on. So we can only imagine how Eclipse Day drivers will act.

If you live close to a popular viewing spot, expect traffic jams from visitors. And if you happen to be on the road during the big moment – be extra cautious and drive defensively.

3. Renting out your home? Check your liability coverage.

“Solar eclipse vacations” are a white-hot trend. If you own a home in the path of totality – that’s eclipse-speak for the best visibility line from the northwest to the southeast corner of the U.S. – you might already know there’s a demand for tourists to crash at your place via a short-term rental website (like Airbnb).

But before you look to cash in on the opportunity, ask your insurance agent if your homeowner’s insurance policy is currently set up to protect you from the unique liability or property damage risks that come from renting out your home.

On August 21, enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime view! And remember: rain or shine, your Erie Insurance agent is here for you. Find an ERIE agent in your neighborhood today.