The current onslaught of rain storms in the Central Coast region is creating the potential for flooding and mudslides throughout Santa Barbara County. In Oceano, the Red Cross has already opened a shelter to help those affected by flooding in the area.

The American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter would like to offer tips to keep everyone in the community safe during this flood season:

– Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

– When a flood or flash flood warning is issued, head for higher ground and stay there.

– Stay away from flood waters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.

– If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.

– Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If mudslides threaten your neighborhood:

– If you suspect imminent danger, evacuate immediately. Inform affected neighbors if you can, and contact your public works, fire or police department.

– Listen for unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together.

– If you are near a stream or channel, be alert for any sudden increase or decrease in water flow and notice whether the water changes from clear to muddy. Such changes may mean there is debris flow activity upstream so be prepared to move quickly.

– Be especially alert when driving— watch for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks and other indications of possible debris flow.

– If you are ordered or decide to evacuate, take your animals with you.

For more information on how to stay safe during threatening weather, please go online to the national website.

The American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter has provided services to more than 30,000 people in Santa Barbara County during the past year and has distributed disaster preparedness and health and safety materials to over 13,900 school children, seniors and community members.

The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work. For more information, please contact the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter at 687-1331 in Santa Barbara, 928-0778 in Santa Maria.

Santa Barbara County Sandbag Information

In preparing for changing weather conditions, sandbags are available at the County Corporate Yards in Santa Barbara (near the County Transfer Station), in Santa Maria on West Foster Road, at Fire Station 14 (Los Carneros Road in Goleta), at Montecito Fire Station #1 (San Ysidro Road in Montecito), the City of Carpinteria Public Works Department (5775 Carpinteria Avenue, Santa Barbara City Corporate Annex Yard (401 E. Yanonali Street from 7:30am to 3:30 pm, and Station 7 (2411 Stanwood Drive – 24 hours/day until further notice).


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