Emergency Responders Provide Safety Tips for April 8th Eclipse

2024 total solar eclipse map
Photo credit NASA

Ellis County, TX – Michaela Sandefer, the Ellis County Emergency Management Coordinator, has compiled input from local police, fire, EMS, and other emergency responders regarding the upcoming April 8th solar eclipse and published them on the county website at https://co.ellis.tx.us/1204/The-2024-Total-Solar-Eclipse. The resource webpage contains helpful information and important safety tips for residents and visitors to observe during the eclipse.

“Our Emergency Management staff is working extensively with our Sheriff’s Department, city, TDEM, and DPS partners to ensure that all concerns for the eclipse are addressed,” said County Judge Todd Little. Traffic is our biggest hurdle, but we trust that each of our emergency management partners is well prepared to continue providing uninterrupted services on April 8th.”

“We want everyone to have a fun and memorable eclipse experience,” said Sandefer, “but that will only happen if everyone follows a few important guidelines. We have people coming in from around the world because Ellis County is in the path of totality. There are things we can all do to protect ourselves and the public during the event.”

With input from local emergency responders, Sandefer stressed three specific safety tips:

1) Don’t look directly at the eclipse unless you have specially designed “eclipse glasses.” “Just because your eyes aren’t hurting doesn’t mean they aren’t being harmed,” Sandefer said.

2) Don’t stop on the side of the highway to view the eclipse, as doing so can create dangerous traffic obstructions or result in collisions.

3) Wait before uploading any footage of the eclipse to social media and refrain from livestreaming it. “Our cell tower infrastructure could become overwhelmed if everyone uploads their footage at the same time, which could cause a loss of coverage to people who need to call 9-1-1.”

For more specific guidance about the April 8th Eclipse, please contact your local police or fire departments (non-emergency). Helpful resources are available on the dedicated “April 8th Eclipse Information” page on the Ellis County website, which includes links to event information and safety tips.