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TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, United States, and Canada.

The Buffalo, NY area is in the direct path of totality.

Total Solar Eclipse

eclipse phasesWhat is a total solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse happens when the moon is between the Sun and the Earth, blocking the light from the Sun. During a total solar eclipse, the Moon blocks the entire Sun. A total solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, completely blocking the face of the Sun. The sky will darken as if it were dawn or dusk.

Eclipse viewing timetable

Monday, April 8, 2024
Location Partial Begins Totality Begins Maximum Totality Ends Partial Ends
Buffalo, New York 2:04 PM 3:18 PM 3:20 PM 3:22 PM 4:32 PM
You can safely look at the sun during an eclipse by wearing certified protective eye wear (Eclipse safety glasses: ISO 12312-2 filter).  You must wear eclipse safety glasses to view the partial phases of the eclipse.

What is all the excitement about the total solar eclipse? 

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will be visible in Erie County. The last total solar eclipse in Western New York was in 1925. The next total solar eclipse in the United States will not happen until 2044.

The total solar eclipse is a once in a lifetime experience. You can expect large crowds and an influx of tourists. You should anticipate congestion and traffic delays, and some businesses may be closed or have changed hours.

Eclipse glassesEye safety during the total solar eclipse

It is not safe to look directly at the Sun without specialized eye protection for solar viewing.  The only time you can look at a total eclipse safely is during the brief total phase of a total solar eclipse, when the Moon completely blocks the Sun.  

Viewing any part of the bright Sun through a camera lens, binoculars, or a telescope without a special-purpose solar filter secured over the front of the optics will instantly cause severe eye injury.

You can safely look at the sun during an eclipse by wearing certified protective eye wear (Eclipse safety glasses: ISO 12312-2 filter).  You must wear eclipse safety glasses to view the partial phases of the eclipse.

Learn more about eye safety during the Total Solar Eclipse:

Where can I get eclipse safety glasses?

You can get safety glasses from the following locations:

Do I need to plan ahead?

Yes! With the increased traffic from tourists coming to Erie County, it is very important to plan ahead and to plan extra time for travel.  Many people on roads could disrupt normal travel paths and cause traffic delays. 

Some tips for planning your eclipse experience:

  • Keep a full gas tank 
  • Plan your travel ahead of time and consider carpooling to reduce cars on the road.
  • Avoid any non-essential travel and try to schedule appointments for another day. 
  • Stay informed about traffic patterns. Go to 511wny.org to stay updated.
  • Have a communication plan in case congestion causes poor cell reception.

Consider bringing the following items:

  • Camping chairs
  • Raincoat/jacket
  • Blanket
  • Water and snacks
  • First aid supplies
  • Bug spray
  • Comfortable shoes for walking
  • Portable chargers
  • Extra essential medication

Planning for the weather:

Buffalo’s weather can be unpredictable in April. You should make sure to prepare for the weather to be wet and cold or hot and sunny. Preparing warm clothes, raincoats, sun hats, and sunscreen is important for staying comfortable in early April. 

Check the weather ahead of time at https://nationaleclipse.com/weather.html to ensure that you are packing appropriately.

Viewing areas and events

  • Viewing locations and events can be found at buffaloeclipse.org/locations
  • You can also view the eclipse anywhere you will have clear visibility. The easiest way to see the eclipse is from your home. No need to travel through all the expected traffic.

Tips for those traveling to view the eclipse

Use public transportation

Prevent medication emergencies

Check your medication stock.

  • Print and use this Medication History Form
  • Check your medication stock regularly and call your pharmacy if you are running low on any.
  • Most medications can be refilled a few days before you are out.  Make sure to give the pharmacy a few days’ notice so they can request a new prescription from the doctor if there are no more refills, fix any insurance issues, and order more medication if the pharmacy is running low or out of stock.

When should you fill medications early?

  • Pick up medication BEFORE potential bad weather as roads or stores may be closed.
  • Keep medication with you in case you get stuck somewhere longer than anticipated.
  • If you are going on vacation or out of town as you may run out while you are away.
  • Before a holiday when the pharmacy may be closed.

Tips for refilling medications.

  • Set your prescriptions up for auto refill.  This way the pharmacy will automatically start working on your prescription when it is due.
  • Set up auto pay or have a credit card on file, which may be helpful if you need to send someone else to pick up your medication.
  • Check to see if your pharmacy has medication delivery services.

More information and resources

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