the past several months, locals officials on the Outer Banks have been
working together to develop innovative ways to share beach safety
information with residents and visitors.
Expanding the use of social media to deliver quick, focused messages on
beach hazards like rip currents, marine life, and shorebreak from a
local’s perspective, was seen as a way to get information to those that
need it most, individuals that may not realize the dangers associated
with ocean swimming. Using the catch phrase “Love The Beach Respect The
Ocean”, CurrentTV developed video public service announcements that
feature locals offering tips for staying safe while at the beach. Since
Memorial Day these short videos, featuring local lifeguards, surf
photographers and pro surfers, including Noah Snyder, Bo Raynor, and
Quentin Turko, have been shared on social media and air on Charter
Spectrum Cable encouraging everyone to “Live like a local - love the
beach, respect the ocean.” To view the PSAs, click here.
In addition, frequent tweets and other social media posts are shared by
Dare County, the National Park Service (Cape Hatteras National
Seashore), various towns, and rescue squads using the hashtag
Knowing that easy access to beach forecasts and conditions is often
challenging, especially for Outer Banks visitors, Dare County Emergency
Management explored using the County’s Alert and Notification System to
send National Weather Service Alerts and beach condition reports from
local ocean rescue services to anyone that wants them on their mobile
On July 3, Emergency Management established a text to join group
allowing anyone to subscribe by simply texting “Join
OBXBeachConditions” to 30890. Subscribers will receive beach
related NWS Alerts issued 24 hours a day for the Outer Banks.
Users will also receive condition reports posted by ocean rescue
personnel. In addition to text to join, anyone can sign up for Dare
County Alerts and Notifications at www.darenc.com/emergencyalerts.
Drew Pearson, Dare County’s Emergency Management Director said, “The
safety of our residents and visitors is priority number one. Using our
County’s alerting system to get people the information they need to
make informed decisions on beach hazards just made sense. We want
everyone to enjoy our beautiful beaches without being overtaken by the
ocean’s unforgiving power. I encourage everyone to respect that power
by checking conditions before heading out - always swim near a
lifeguard and never enter the ocean when red flags are flying.”
To sign up for text alerts:
Visitors and locals can easily sign up for alerts by texting
"Join OBXBeachConditions" to 30890.
Subscribers will also receive beach related weather alerts issued
by the National Weather Service for Currituck, Dare, and Hyde Counties. Ocean
rescue service providers may also share current/changing beach conditions.
Once you no longer need updates, simply text STOP to 30890.
For more information on current rip current forecasts, alerts and
updates are also available online at https://www.weather.gov/beach/mhx.