Stay & Play Safely!
Here at Sands of Alabama, we want you to have the best vacation experience possible when you visit our little slice of paradise in Orange Beach or Gulf Shores. With miles of crystal sands, an abundance of sunshine and wild life, and endless activities to keep you entertained – we feel as if our island is the perfect destination for creating fun memories that will last a lifetime! In order to ensure that you depart with only good memories to look back on, however, there are a few important safety tips to keep in mind. Please review the following and take heed to all safety information posted here, on the beaches and around the city.
Before heading into the water, please always take note of the current flag status on the beach. Water conditions are monitored throughout the day but always exercise caution even when green flags (indicating low hazard) are flying. Below is a breakdown of the color system and each flag’s meaning:
Please note: Under the city ordinances of both Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, it is illegal to enter the water when double red flags are displayed.
Rip currents are commonly formed near piers and jetties and at breaks in sandbars. They are channelized currents of water that flow away from shore. Should you ever get caught in one, here’s what to do:
- Stay calm & Don’t waster energy trying to fight the rip current
- Swim parallel to the shoreline until you escape the current and then swim at an angle towards shore, away from the current.
- If you can’t escape the rip current by swimming, tread water or stay afloat until you’re in a weaker current.
- Then, swim at an angle away from the current towards shore.
- If you feel like you won’t be able to reach shore, draw attention by facing the shore, calling and waving for help.
*If you see someone else caught in a rip current, seek a lifeguard. If there’s no lifeguard present, throw the victim something that floats or yell instructions on how to escape. For further assistance, call 911.
For current surf conditions, including flag status, call the following numbers:
Gulf Shores | 251-968-TIDE | GulfShoresAL.com
Orange Beach | 251-981-SURF
Always pack plenty of sunscreen for your beach trips and apply it often, paying special attention to your ears, nose and face as well as your shoulders and feet. About half an hour before hitting the water, go ahead and apply some and then re-apply every two hours after you’re swimming. Also remember:
- Provide Extra Protection for Children Plenty of sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, etc.
- Stay hydrated! You may not notice a thirsty feeling but being in the sun still takes its toll on the body. Avoid alcohol and caffeine which make it easier to dehydrate.
- Wear Sunglasses They’ll prevent the damage that UV rays can do to your eyes.
- Watch for Heat Stroke Signs include: red, dry hot skin; rapid, weak pulse and rapid shallow breathing; and changes in consciousness. If someone displays these symptos – Call 911. Until help arrives, keep the person lying down with ice packs or cold packs on their wrists, ankles, armpits and neck. You can also use wet towels.
Extra Tips for Sunburn Relief:
- OTC meds such as ibuprofen and aceteminophen can help relive pain and swelling associated with the burn.
- Aloe Vera can help heal the burn.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Soak in a cool bath and/or apply cold compresses often throughout the day.
- Avoid oil-based lotions and petroleum jelly!
“Swimming with the waves” is quite different than swimming in the calm water of a traditional pool! With a variety of marine life and the strength of the waves, it’s important to take a few precautions.
- Before diving in, always observe the beach flag status. It’s also best to check surf and weather conditions before driving out to the beach!
- Stay in groups when you swim – don’t swim alone or get too far from the shore.
- Be cautious when swimming between sandbars or near steep drop-offs, and don’t swim near platforms, piers or pilings.
- Areas used by fisherman are not places you want to swim (hooks are no fun!) Also avoid swimming with schools of fish – watch for seabirds diving as a good sign of where they are.
- Alcohol & Swimming – Not the best idea!
- Be extra cautious if the water is murky, and avoid swimming during dusk, night time or twilight hours.
- Avoid wearing shiny clothing and jewelry.
- Stay up to date on the beach conditions and local weather!
Extra Tips for Jellyfish Sting Relief:
- Wash the sting with saltwater.
- Apply rubbing alcohol or vinegar.
- Don’t rub the sting!
- If there is any difficulty breathing or swallowing – get medical attention immediately.
Every location has its own natural disaster. Although we don’t have blizzards or earthquakes, we do have hurricanes every few years. Below are some tips regarding these storms:
- Hurricane Watch – A hurricane watch indicates possible conditions of a hurricane, generally within 48 hours, in a designated area. During a watch – stay alert to local TV and radio stations for updates. Prepare yourself for acting immediately to evacuate if a warning is issued.
- Hurricane Warning – A hurricane warning indicates expected hurricane condition, generally within 36 hours, in a designated area. Complete your storm preparations and evacuate immediately if officials direct you to do so.
- General Tips During a Storm – If electricity is shut off, pumps may be inoperable at gas stations for several days so keep your car fueled up ahead of time. If you stumble upon a closed road – don’t drive around road blocks and never attempt to drive through a flooded street.
The Numbers Below Provide Current Storm Information: