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  • How can your business prepare for the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse?

    How can your business prepare for the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse?

    Posted: Monday March 04, 2024

    A spectacular natural phenomenon, a Total Solar Eclipse, will be happening on Monday April 8th. The Moon will be perfectly aligned between the Earth and the Sun, blocking out the Sun’s rays entirely.

    Brockville will be in the Path of Totality, meaning that we will be directly in the shadow of the moon when the moon passes in front of the sun, blocking the sun fully. While most of North America will see a partial eclipse that day, only the areas along the thin Path of Totality will experience a total eclipse that day. While a total solar eclipse happens somewhere on Earth roughly every 18 months, it is extremely rare for a total eclipse to occur in any particular place (only occurring every few hundred years), and we are fortunate to be along this path.

    What’s the big deal?

    Brockville will be one of only a handful of Canadian cities to find itself along the Path of Totality on April 8th. In this situation, experiencing 99% of something is not the same as experiencing 100% of something. For most of Ontario, the moon will not fully block the sun, and the experience will be vastly different. For those along the Path of Totality, the sky will get eerily dark, and the sense of awe is said to be overpowering.

    The Path of Totality is such a thin band, that most of our neighbours will not find themselves within it. Smiths Falls, Perth, Lanark, Merrickville, Kemptville, and Ottawa are all outside of the Path. We expect that a lot of people will drive into Brockville in order to observe this phenomenon. Visit our Eclipse page for more information about what will be happening in Brockville that day.

    Eclipse viewing events will be happening on Blockhouse Island, and at St. Lawrence College.

    What can you do?

    For accommodation providers:

    Let your guests know that they are in the right place to experience this once in a lifetime phenomenon. Brockville Tourism is creating packages with participating hotels so that you can book rooms with travelers who are coming to see the eclipse. Extend stays by sharing the eclipse viewing event information with your guests and creating an eclipse package that they can easily book through your website. Connect with Brockville Tourism so they can promote your package, and help you get your hands on solar eclipse viewing glasses for guests who book these packages.

    For businesses who offer services by appointment:

    As we get closer to April 8th and more and more people learn about the eclipse, it’s very likely that people will want to cancel or reschedule their appointments from April 8th to a different day in order to view this phenomenon. We recommend taking a proactive approach and calling your scheduled appointments for that day to see if they would like to reschedule. This will eliminate a lot of confusion, last minute cancelations, no shows, and help avoid large gaps in your schedule that you likely won’t be able to fill at the last minute.

    Other considerations:

    • Even if you don’t plan to do anything special on that day, your business may still be affected by the eclipse. Increased traffic, confusion, and delays along major highways and access routes may cause delays in deliveries and other services. Where possible, reschedule any pick ups or deliveries for later in the week.
    • If your business involves off site contractors, make sure that they are aware of eye safety requirements. It may be difficult for outdoor contractors to complete their work safely during the afternoon of the eclipse, so it may be best to only schedule work for the first half of the day. Driving during the eclipse may be dangerous as the temptation to look up at the eclipse will be difficult to ignore. Roads will also likely be congested with people who have pulled over to observe the eclipse, so plan accordingly.
    • For businesses and offices with windows, inform your employees of the risks to their eyes of looking at the sun. Provide ISO 12312-2 international safety standard approved solar filter glasses, or close blinds.
    • Think about when your shift changes occur, and if any of your staff will be driving to work or home during the eclipse. In addition to eye safety concerns, traffic may prevent your employees from getting to work on time.
    • Read through the information provided by the Lanark, Leeds and Grenville District Health Unit
    • Plan ahead and be flexible.

    What’s happening in Brockville on April 8th:

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