Rochester eclipse: Tips to prepare for solar eclipse on April 8

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — On Monday, April 8, the skies over Rochester will go dark at 3:20 p.m. as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth. 

The entire Rochester area will be on the eclipse’s path of totality and the city itself will experience 3 minutes and 38 seconds of darkness. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for the total solar eclipse.

How to get eclipse glasses

To watch the eclipse, you’ll need a pair of eclipse glasses to protect your eyes while staring at the sun. Even a few second of staring at the sun without protection can cause vision damage.

There are multiple places where you can buy eclipse glasses including the gift shop at the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Just make sure that the glasses are certified by the International Standards Organization. You can find out where to get the glasses here.

Get gas ahead of time

The Rochester area is expected to welcome between 300,000 and 500,000 visitors for the eclipse. That’s expected to bring traffic throughout the area, so its important to get gas ahead of time and give yourself plenty of time to travel.

During the 2017 total solar eclipse that went through parts of the U.S., some gas stations on the path of totality ran out. That includes Beatrice, Nebraska, a town with a population of about 12,000 that welcomed 40,000 visitors during the eclipse.

Prepare in case cell services are spotty

With the influx of visitors, cell services may be spotty. As a backup to a GPS, bring a paper map while traveling just in case. Also, write down any important numbers in case cell services go out.

In 2017, cell towers became overwhelmed around the path of totality as people shared photos and used their phone to navigate.

Head to the grocery store ahead of time

To prepare for the increase in traffic, head to the grocery store before the eclipse to stock up on food. Wegmans announced that its Rochester-area stores will close on April 8 between 3 and 3:30 p.m. for the eclipse.

News10NBC is Rochester’s Eclipse Headquarters. You can see more of our coverage here.