"The Great American Eclipse" will reach South Carolina around 2 p.m. Monday. And while civilians and Soldiers alike will be tempted to look up at the sky, it's important to know and have the equipment necessary to do so.

The only point during a solar eclipse when it is safe to stare directly at the sun is during the totality
phase, when the moon completely blocks out the sun. This phase of the eclipse will occur at 2:41 p.m. and last for only two minutes and 30 seconds. Once the sun starts to glare on the right side of the moon, it's time to look away.

Now, in order to view the sun during the beginning and ending phases of the eclipse, one must wear
number 14 welder's glass or, for those non-welders, make sure to get certified eclipse viewing glasses.

The City of Columbia is sponsoring 100,000 free eclipse glasses at events throughout the city. This
weekend, the City of Columbia will host a multitude of events for the expected one million tourists
that will visit the state. At certain events, the eclipse glasses will be given out. And if you can't get some for free, there are shops available that will sell them to you.

Family and Morale Wellness Recreation will also have eclipse glasses available. Also, MEDDAC will
outline the medical consequences of unprotected viewing and the damage it can have on people's

For those Family members and Soldiers who might venture off post for eclipse related activities,
South Carolina is urging people to be mindful of increased traffic and the potential hazards that come
with it.

"We want to assure the citizens of South Carolina that the department of public safety is working carefully with its state partners and with local officials to prepare for traffic issues surrounding the eclipse and ensure a safe and memorable experience for South Carolina citizens and visitors," said Maj. Rob Woods, Highway Patrol emergency management coordinator for the Department of Public Safety in a South Carolina National Guard article.

For more information regarding City of Columbia events you can visit totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/
fact-sheet/ or totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com/glasses/ for more info about eclipse glasses.