Memorial Day Holiday Safety Tips from Escambia County
With the reopening of the Pensacola Bay Bridge, heavy traffic and crowds are expected on Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key for Memorial Day weekend. Escambia County would like to offer beachgoers a few simple tips for a safe, fun weekend:
- Be patient and leave early. Traffic will be heavy, and parking will be limited.
- Please note that when you drive over the Bob Sikes Bridge to Pensacola Beach there is an electronic toll in place. The method in which the $1 toll is collected changed on March 20, 2020. Cash and coins are no longer collected in person. The county encourages motorists to plan ahead and use electronic toll collection devices (i.e. SunPass®, E-Pass, Annual Pass, NC Quick Pass, Peach Pass, E-ZPass), tolling apps (i.e. PayTollo) or TOLL-BY-PLATE from SunPass. The county recently made enhancements to traffic flow to improve mobility for cyclists and pedestrians.
- If parking is full in the core areas of Pensacola Beach, take advantage ofthe free trolleys offered by the Santa Rosa Island Authority. Trolleys run from 4 p.m. to midnight, and they service the areas of Portofino to Park West. For a map of trolley stops and a live trolley tracker, click here.
- View more ways the public can get to Pensacola BeachHERE.
- Regardless of your swimming level, never swim alone, and always swim near a lifeguard. Lifeguards staff six Gulf-front towers, a tower at the Quietwater public use areas on Pensacola Beach and towers at the Gulf Island National Seashore areas of Langdon Beach at Ft. Pickens, Opal Beach between Pensacola and Navarre Beaches and Johnson Beach in Perdido.
- If in doubt, don't go out.
- Remember that alcohol, sun and swimming do not mix.
- Know how to escape from a rip current. Watch our rip current video and learn how to break the grip of the rip, which can pull even the strongest swimmer out to sea.
Heat Safety Tips
- Be sure to wear and reapply sunscreen often.
- Avoid strenuous activities and wear light clothing.
- Check on elderly family members and neighbors.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Watch for heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
- Never leave people or pets in a closed car.
- “Look before you lock!” Even if you assume you are travelling without companions, double check your back seats before exiting your vehicle.
- Place a reminder item such as a stuffed animal in your vehicle’s passenger seat to ensure you remember to assist all passengers in exiting the vehicle when you arrive at your destination.
- Keep your vehicle locked and your keys out of reach. Children can potentially lock themselves inside hot vehicles on accident.
- Do not assume your passengers are always capable of exiting a vehicle alone. Check in with all of your passengers and assist them in exiting the vehicle when necessary.
- Pets can overheat quickly in warm weather. Make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water and access to shade to avoid over-heating.
- Be able to recognize symptoms of heat exhaustion in your pet such as difficulty breathing, excessive panting, weakness or increased drooling. If you notice these symptoms relocate your pet to a cool area.
- Never leave your pet in an unattended vehicle. When driving with your pet, leave an item such as your purse or cell phone in the backseat to ensure you remember to retrieve both the item and your pet when you reach your destination.
- Limit the time your pet spends on hot asphalt. Hot asphalt can increase the chance of over-heating in pets and can, in some cases, burn your pet’s paw pads.
Leave No Trace
- Remember to "leave no trace" and keep Pensacola Beach sea turtle-friendly. Properly dispose of trash, fill in any holes in the sand and remove belongings from the beach at the end of the day. This includes not leaving any personal property unattended on the sandy gulf beach from sunset until sunrise like umbrellas, tents, beach toys and chairs.
- Glass containers are not allowed on the beach.
- Dogs other than service animals are not permitted on any of the beaches except in the two designated dog parks on Pensacola Beach. East: Lot E on Via De Luna Drive, beach walkover 28B. West: Lot B on Fort Pickens Road, beach walkover 21E.
(Photo credit: Escambia County news release)