There are a lot of things to think about and remember when planning a vacation to Northwest Florida and Coastal Alabama. You want to pick the perfect beach condo or vacation home for your family, pack the perfect clothes, and ensure you’ve got all the necessary toys and gear. But, don’t forget to also brush up on your beach safety.
We employ a pretty simple flag warning system to warn you of the water conditions of the Gulf of Mexico. Think of it like traffic lights: green means go, yellow means you need to be cautious and red mean stop. All of these are based on how dangerous the currents and surf are at the time.
If you hit the beach and see double red flags flying, you may want to head back to the pool or try your hand at building sandcastles. This means the water is completely closed due to hazardous conditions. Relatively new to the warning system is the purple flag. This cautions swimmers against dangerous marine life. Don’t worry, this is rarely a Jaws situation, and typically due to jelly fish swimming close to shore.
Something else you will want to watch out for while on vacation in Coastal Alabama or along the beaches of Northwest Florida are rip currents. There are a few tell tale signs of rip currents. These include waves that break further out to see along either side of the rip current creating a gap. These currents also stir up the sand and cause deeper water closer to shore, giving the water a darker, murkier color.
If you become caught in a rip current, don’t panic. That’s the number one tip given by lifeguards. Don’t swim against the current, but instead try to float and relax until it dissipates and you can swim parallel until you reach the shore.
Oh, and our number one beach safety tip to employ during your family vacation to the Gulf Coast this summer? Pack the sunscreen and lather up often! With these beach safety tips, and the proper beach toys, we know you will have a safe, fun summer along the beaches of the Gulf Coast.