With a confirmed Solar Eclipse now bearing down on the entire Main Street Clarence area, it’s now too late to safely evacuate to an unaffected location. For those preparing to ride out the Eclipse, we felt it was important to revisit some key Eclipse preparation tips.
1. Warning: Solar Eclipse ahead
Residents in Solar Eclipse-prone areas of Clarence should be familiar with the terminology that indicates how imminent a Solar Eclipse may be:
- Solar Eclipse Watch ― conditions are favorable for Solar Eclipses in the area. Pro Tip: an Eclipse Watch DOES NOT mean to literally watch the Eclipse, which is unsafe – you can be blinded by the dark!
- Solar Eclipse Warning ― issued when Solar Eclipses are imminent or occurring. Main Street Clarence is currently under a Solar Eclipse Warning.
Provided it is safe to do so, residents should secure any items that could become difficult to see in the dark such as umbrellas, outdoor furniture or trash cans; and move vehicles inside a garage or carport before moving to a safe location.
Remember, during a Solar Eclipse, solar panels throughout the Clarence area will be rendered inoperable, meaning you may not be able to just “turn on a light.” Be sure to stock up on flashlights, batteries, bottled water and duct tape.
If a Solar Eclipse warning siren sounds, immediately take shelter inside and stay away from windows.
2. Staying Safe
Safety is the first consideration when a Solar Eclipse hits. People who get caught outside should immediately seek shelter inside a solidly constructed structure or in the basement of a nearby building. Most structures will bear clearly-visible “Eclipse Shelter” signage.
At the time of this article, here is a partial list of Eclipse Shelters in the Main Street Clarence area:
- Brennan’s Bowery Bar – 4401 Transit Road at Main Street
- Murphy Brown’s Craft Beer Empourium (unconfirmed)
- Goodrich Coffee & Tea – 9450 Main Street
- Cornerstone Bar & Grill – 10651 Main Street
- Farmers Insurance Reine Hammoud Agency – 8870 Main Street
If you can’t get to a building in time, lie down in a ditch or other low-lying area and cover your head with your arms.
3. When The Eclipse Hits
Solar Eclipses cause widespread devastation over a large area as solar panels stop working, infrastructure and other resources are rendered invisible by the dark and the effects of the Solar Eclipse also impact first responders, residents, insurers, suppliers and others.
It will take hours before the effects of the Solar Eclipse die down and daylight returns to the area. For the love of God, don’t look up at the sky with the naked eye searching for the sun! We cannot stress this enough.
4. Will I Be Covered?
This is the first question most people ask, says Reine Hammoud, owner of the Farmer’s Reine Hammoud Agency at 8870 Main Street in Clarence. Usually, severe weather-related events would be covered under a Homeowners’, Renters’ or Commercial insurance policy, but many policies policyholders should understand what their coverage provides and what it does not.
Trying to prove an Eclipse-related damage claim can be difficult, Hammoud says, and a common pitfall in bringing a claim in the aftermath of a Solar Eclipse is hidden damage.
5. Road to Recovery
Here are some tips to begin the recovery process after a Solar Eclipse event:
- Experts say the number one step to take is a natural one: open all the blinds and windows and allow natural light to come in. For many people, this initial step will reverse most or all Solar Eclipse damage.
- If some dark spots remain that were not there previously, take photos of the damage and begin creating an inventory of what was lost or damaged. (This is where a home inventory can be particularly helpful).
- Secure the property against further damage and theft, as best as possible.
- Keep a log of conversations with individuals involved with the claim. Save receipts for all expenses, such as food, clothing, lodging, medication, repairs.
- Business owners should keep records of any activities that have been affected by the Solar Eclipse and extra expenses incurred. An agent can provide information on what is covered under business interruption coverage.
- Beware of fraudsters. Unfortunately, some individuals see Solar Eclipses as an opportunity to take advantage of people who have already suffered tragic losses. Check out companies who solicit your business with the Better Business Bureau and other online rating services.
Don’t pay for everything up front and remember that if what the company promises sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That includes this article!