National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce
 

A trip to the beach should be fun. Unfortunately, many people are injured or killed along our nation's beaches by hazards such as dangerous currents, tsunamis, heat and lightning. The National Weather Service can help ensure you leave the beach with good memories. NWS and our sister agency, the National Ocean Service, provide you the information you need to stay safe on beaches and in coastal areas and surf zones. A surf zone is defined as the area of water between the beach/shore and the first line of breaking waves. If you live on the Great Lakes you face a unique set of Beach challenges. Find out how to stay safe on the Great Lakes.

+Fatalities: Lightning At the Beach

+UV Safety: Stay Safe in the Sun

Bring an umbrella to the beach and stay in the shade. Wear a hat and sunscreen when you are out in the sun. Remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Reapply sunscreen every two hours and whenever you get out of the water. 

  • beach umbrellaUse Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand: Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Check the UV IndexThe UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities and prevent over exposure to the sun. The UV Index forecast is issued daily by the National Weather Service and EPA.
  • Know the day’s UV Index: Visit EPA’s UV Index Web Page
  • Get the free UVI smartphone app from EPA
  • Subscribe to EnviroFlash for UV Index forecast and alert notification emails. EnviroFlash provides free UV Index information in the location of your choice. This service provides notifications about UV Alert days as well as next day UV Index forecasts. 
  • Find out more about UV safety

+Beach Safety and Education

+Harmful Algal Blooms

+Great Lakes Beach Safety