Department of Defense (DoD)

Learn Solar Eclipse and Campus Fire Safety

Individual and Community Preparedness eBrief

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August 3, 2017
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In this issue:


Prepare for the Solar Eclipse

Solar EclipseOn August 21, the United States will be experiencing the first total solar eclipse since 1991 and the first to move across the entire mainland of the country since 1918.

A solar eclipse happens when the moon passes in between the earth and the sun. While this rare occurrence may be exciting, safety is a concern. Looking directly at the sun during an eclipse could severely hurt your eyes.

Protect your eyes and view the eclipse safely with these tips from the National Weather Service:

  • Make sure to wear special solar filtered sunglasses if you plan to stare directly at the eclipse.
  • It is only safe to stare at the sun during the eclipse when the moon is totally covering the sun. This only happens for a brief period and will only occur in a very narrow path about 70 miles wide from Oregon to South Carolina.
  • You can also safely view the eclipse through a solar filtered telescope or Welder’s glass #14 and darker.
  • If you are going camping to view the eclipse, visit the U.S. Forest Service website for safety tips. Also, check for signs of low humidity and high temperatures, which are a recipe for wildfires.

For more information on the solar eclipse or for a solar eclipse party kit, visit

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Campus Fire Safety

Campus Fire SafetyThe fall college semester begins soon, so it is time to start gathering school supplies and enrolling in classes. It is also important to know how to stay fire safe in your college housing, whether on or off campus.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 85 fatal fires in dorms, fraternities, sororities, and off-campus housing from 2000-2015. There are several specific causes for fires in college housing including cooking, candles, smoking, and overloaded power strips. Follow these tips to start being fire safe:

  • Have a fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room.
  • Use surge protectors or power strips with internal overload protection.
  • Never leave a candle unattended.
  • Use flameless candles, which are both safe and attractive.
  • Keep your cooking area clean and free of anything that can burn.
  • If a fire starts in your microwave, keep the door closed and unplug the unit.
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out. Do not toss hot cigarettes into the trash.

Do not let a campus fire ruin your semester. Take action now, and know how to prevent fires by visiting

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Make Preparedness Fun for Kids

Prep Step VideoYou may not be with your children when disaster strikes, so it is important they know how to stay safe during emergencies. To make disaster preparedness fun, Save the Children® and Scholastic® created the following resources to share with kids.

Keep the Herd Safe is a fun-filled activities page for children in grades 1-3 to encourage disaster planning and to teach them how to stay connected in the event of an emergency. Parents, guardians, and those who care for children can help youth complete In Case of Emergency (ICE) Cards featuring characters from the animated film “Ice Age: Collision Course.”

Do you know how to do the Prep Step? Save the Children’s® Prep Step video combines valuable safety tips with fun dance moves to get kids excited about preparedness. You can also download the Prep Step song for children to listen to while on the go. Download today and get moving!

Making preparedness fun and easy for kids is one of the best ways to get them involved in their own safety. Find even more preparedness resources for children at

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Important Dates to Remember

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Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services, or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newslettersby contacting citizencorps.


Contact Us

email: citizencorps | TWITTER: @Citizen_Corps

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