Santa Barbara County public safety officials issued a warning Tuesday night of a large incoming winter storm predicted to bring multiple days of rain, strong winds, and frigid temperatures.
“Now is the time to prepare or update your family emergency plan, refresh your emergency kit and, protect your home from potential flooding,” said Kelly Hubbard, director of the Office of Emergency Management. “Keep in mind any additional needs of individuals in your family with access and functional needs and other disabilities. Plan ahead for pets and livestock. And consider any COVID-19 related updates to your emergency kit, such as face coverings and hand sanitizer.”
Officials say they’re closely monitoring any potential for significant flooding or debris flows, though no such danger currently exists, they said. Still, residents should have an evacuation plan in place as well strategies for when it’s not safe to evacuate, including going to a higher floor in their homes, sheltering in place, or heading to a neighbor’s house on higher ground.
“If at any time people feel unsafe or threatened by a storm, or any other hazard, they should relocate to a safe area,” said Sheriff Bill Brown. “Do not wait for an alert or public safety personnel to tell you to leave.”
County officials gave these additional recommendations for emergency preparedness:
- Register for emergency alerts at www.readysbc.org;
- Inspect your property to determine if outdoor equipment should be moved indoors or if sandbags are needed to prevent flooding (sandbag locations can be found at www.countyofsb.org/pwd/sandbag.sbc);
- Make or update an emergency kit (visit https://www.ready.gov/kit to learn more);
- Have an emergency plan for your household, including writing down important phone numbers, addresses, and prescriptions;
- Charge mobile and medical devices in case of a storm-induced power outage;
- Consider relocating to a hotel if you cannot drive at night or have significant mobility concerns;
- Ensure the safety of pets and animals that are usually kept outdoors; and
- Stay informed during the storm and prepared to take action should the situation in your area become unsafe.
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