DARE COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) — Dare County has developed a new text alert system to notify users of safety and weather concerns at the beach.
Dare County official say they are aware that access to beach conditions and weather forecasts can be difficult, especially for some of their Outer Banks visitors.
In response, Dare County Emergency Services has added an OBX Beach Conditions alert to the current Dare County notification system.
The new texting system will provide subscribers with alerts from the National Weather Service as well as beach condition reports from local rescue services.
Anyone who would like to have these alerts sent to their phone can subscribe to the new beach notifications by texting “Join OBXBeachConditions” to 30890. You can also subscribe by visiting the Dare County Emergency Alerts page and sign up for notifications there.
Drew Pearson, Dare County’s emergency management director, said in a statement, “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.”
In addition to the text alert, the county says they are trying to expand their use of social media to communicate with residents and visitors.
Tweets and other social media posts will be shared by Dare County, the National Park Service (Cape Hatteras National Seashore), various towns, and rescue squads using the hashtag #LoveTheBeachRespectTheOcean.
The hashtag comes as part of a PSA initiative to deliver safety tips about the dangers of swimming from a locals perspective. The PSA’s that have been on Social Media and local television are meant to encourage everyone to, “live like a local — love the beach, respect the ocean.”