Grand Isle Selectboard would like to share the following tips and resources regarding the upcoming total solar eclipse scheduled for our area on Monday April 8th, 2024. Preparation and education will help ensure a successful, safe, and educational community event.

Eclipse Preparation:
1) Traffic will be heavy and lines for local services such as restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and retail stores may be longer than usual; do what you can ahead of time before the anticipated impact days and allow for extra time to get where you need to go.

Things to consider doing in advance of the heaviest congestion periods:

  • Errands & Appointments: Schedule your errands and appointments early, before Thursday, April 4, 2024, if possible. Check ahead if you have plans for Monday, April 8, 2024; some services and businesses will be closed or have limited hours during this time. By scheduling your errands early, you will beat the crowds and give local stores and businesses time to restock before eclipse visitors arrive; this includes grocery shopping, doctor/dentist/veterinary appointments, prescriptions, etc.
  • Supplies: Overall, supplies may be limited due to the high demand, which may mean the items you want are not available during the impact days. If there is something important you need, get it early.
  • Gas: If you normally fill up your tank on the weekend, be sure to do that task early, before Thursday, April 4, 2024.
  • Cash: If you regularly use cash or want some on hand, consider visiting your local bank or ATM before Thursday, April 4, 2024.

2) 911: Know when it is appropriate to call 911 (true emergencies) and have the non-emergency
phone number for your local Dispatch Center programmed into your phone ahead of time. The
non-emergency phone number for Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department is (802) 372-4482
and after-hours number (802) 524-5993.

3) Cellular Service: With the increased number of visitors, local public safety officials anticipate
cellular service may become overwhelmed (primarily Monday, April 8, 2024) or have limited
access during the impact days. Consider these ideas to assist with communications during this
time: Develop a communication plan with family and friends if you lose or have limited service.
If you only have a mobile phone at home, find out which of your neighbors have a land-line
number in case you need to call 911 for an emergency.

4) Public Water Systems: Consider postponing watering your lawn or using “extra” water during
the anticipated impact days to take pressure off the public water system during that time.

5) Individual/Family Emergency Plans: Consider the eclipse event to be an opportunity to check
your emergency kits and emergency plans. If you do not have a kit or have not discussed your
emergency plans, now is an opportune time to do so.

6) Visitors will be looking for a place to park and view the eclipse. This could mean entering
driveways and fields. If a property owner does not want this to occur, please mark and block
entrances to these places as well as adding no trespassing signs.

7) All the schools in the County have advised they will be closed on April 8th. It is still
undetermined if the High Schools will be, please consult with your child’s local High School
regarding closings.

Eclipse Etiquette / Safety:
The only safe way to look directly at the eclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun is through special-purpose
solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or handheld solar viewers. Ordinary sunglasses, even very dark
ones, are not safe for looking at the Sun; they transmit far more sunlight than is safe for our eyes.

  • Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or
    hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at
    the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove
    it while looking at the Sun.
  • Do not look at the eclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope,
    binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or any
    other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer in front of your
    eyes — the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing
    serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope,
    binoculars, or any other optical device; note that solar filters must be attached to the front of
    any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

*Excerpts from

As always, The Grand Isle Selectboard is here to assist with any concerns citizens may have with the upcoming event. Please contact a member of the board or attend an upcoming meter if you would like additional information discussed.