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Personal safety tips for being prepared on day of the total solar eclipse

Safety preparedness is a big concern when it comes to the 2017 total solar eclipse. That big moment is less than a month away and there are still many things to consider, especially when it comes to personal safety.

Eastern Idaho Public Health said there are a few things you need to prep for before Aug. 21.

“Number one, we’re going to be out in the sun, so sunscreen, obviously. If you’re going to be viewing the solar eclipse, you want to make sure you have the proper eyewear that is certified by ISO. Then, of course, there are all the little critters out there, anywhere from mosquitoes and insects like ticks, they can cause and carry disease, so make sure you wear insect repellent,” said Mike Taylor, a surveillance epidemiologist at EIPH.

In anticipation of these rare two minutes, there’s an abundance of health concerns to keep in mind.

“If you’re out camping or hiking, or anything like that, you need to be aware of some of the wildlife such as bears or snakes and things. Just be aware of your surroundings and take the proper precautions,” Taylor said.

In addition, with the massive numbers of people eastern Idaho is expecting, the possibility of outside diseases is a concern.

“We’re going to be having lots of people in the area that are from other states and even out of our country that may or may not be vaccinated. To do your part and to protect yourself, it’s a great time to make sure that you’re up to date on immunizations. Double check your kids records, double check your records,” Taylor said. “With a big population, there’s always the concern of communicable disease. From our public health standpoint, we want to make sure people are staying healthy. One of the best forms of preventing sickness or illness from spreading is washing your hands. Wash your hands often and of course after coming indoors from being outside or going to the store or being around people in public places.”

The City of Idaho Falls is holding an informational meeting about the eclipse on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Auditorium for residents and business owners/managers in Bonneville County.

City officials said the meeting is an opportunity to learn about the eclipse and the preparation needed to get ready for a large influx of people to our community.

An astronomer and various officials are scheduled to discuss public safety, traffic, communication plans and answer questions about the event.

The meeting is free and open to the public.

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