Outer Banks Things to Know

The Outer Banks is a beautiful area and we know you are eager to start enjoying your beach vacation but first take a moment to get familiar with a few general community guidelines, laws and safety tips. We hope this information will help you and your family have a safe and memorable vacation.

Know the Address of your Vacation Home 

The Dare County 911 Communications office put together this informative video about knowing your location in the event of an emergency. We provide the property address on information on correspondence and on the property description page. It is extremely important to write down your vacation property's physical address and make sure every member of your party knows it!

Beach Safety

We want you to be safe at the beach. If this is your first beach vacation you need to be aware of rip currents, sun bathing safety and what to look for when in the water and on the beach.
Visit our Beach Safety Information Page


In the unlikely event a hurricane is threatening your stay, we recommend the following procedures. Stay tuned to the Weather Channel or local radio stations for updates and any notice of evacuation. If you have to leave your rental home:

Visit our Emergency Information Page

  • Turn off all electrical appliances and turn the AC to 80 degrees.
  • Please help out the homeowner by securing deck furniture. Secure trash containers, grills, and other loose objects in the outside showers or under the home.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors, pull the shades or blinds.
  • Take all of your belongings in case you are unable to return.
  • Come by the Joe Lamb Office to return the keys to your vacation home.

There are no emergency shelters in Dare County or surrounding areas. Gas up your vehicle and leave early. There are only two routes off the island. Head inland or head home, depending on the situation. There is a possibility that once the storm has passed you can return to finish out your vacation. For re-entry information call us, or the Tourist Bureau at 1-800-446-6262. You can also listen to local radio/television stations for instructions. Dial 911 for emergencies only.


The beauty of nighttime fireworks is a spectacle of wonder, and a sure way to create a brilliant Outer Banks vacation memory. However, you need to know that the only allowed fireworks in our area are sparklers, cone fountains, illuminated torches, smoke devices, and ground displays.

North Carolina prohibits the possession and/or use of any pyrotechnics which launch or propel into the air, or which explode making a sound or “report” such as bottle rockets, Roman candles and firecrackers. Fireworks are illegal in all towns and villages here in Dare County.

If you do choose to set -off fireworks, do so away from buildings, dry fields and lawns and always while exercising extreme caution and fire prevention. Visitors love to light fireworks to commemorate their vacation at the beach with a fireworks show by the ocean. If you do make sure you take a flashlight and bucket to fill with water. Be sure to extinguish and take the remains with you in your bucket and dispose of them properly. Never set fireworks off from or on the beach dunes or from your vacation home decks or walkways.

Always use fireworks under adult supervision and when exercising extreme caution and fire prevention. Remember to have fun and be watchful so you can enjoy your vacation here with us on the Outer Banks.


Dare County PROHIBITS parking on the street. Vehicles parked on public streets will be towed. Limit the number of cars to the designated space provided. Please do not park on the grass or sandy areas around your vacation home.


Use dune walkovers and designated beach access points and paths. Please don’t let children slide, climb on or play on the dunes. Foot traffic causes erosion. Leave sea oats, cacti & other vegetation on the dune. Don’t pick for decoration on your sand castle or dining room table.


Please read the specific trash schedules for your home and always place accumulated trash out the night before each scheduled pick-up day. Do not place items outside of the containers. Use recycling bins where provided. Don't leave umbrealls, beach cabanas, chairs or sporting equipment on the beach overnight. Leave only footprints.