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Santa Barbara County Disaster Specialists Deploy to New Mexico to Assist in Recovery Efforts

The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has directed the County of Santa Barbara’s Office of Emergency Management for the deployment of two disaster recovery specialists to New Mexico in support of the ongoing recovery efforts following severe storms, flooding and debris slides.

The two personnel tasked for deployment are certified emergency managers from the County of Santa Barbara’s Office of Emergency Management. The personnel arrived in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sunday and will stay for approximately 21 days.

“It’s absolutely critical that we support our state partners in their recovery efforts when we are able to provide those valuable human resources,” Cal OES Director Mark Ghilarducci said. “The expertise of these staff members will be critical in assisting the New Mexico and federal emergency management peers in the field.”

Cal OES and the County of Santa Barbara OEM coordinated the deployment through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a national agreement among all 50 states and U.S. territories. The EMAC allows for emergency resources to be made available in a neighbor-helping-neighbor system before, during and after a major disaster. EMAC is used in conjunction with federal disaster assistance and other regional mutual aid agreements.

“On behalf of Santa Barbara, we are excited to support the mission request from the State of New Mexico,” County of Santa Barbara OEM Director Ryan Rockabrand said. “Mutual aid assistance is critical in large scale disasters and our staff are experts in this subject area.”

On Oct. 29, President Barack Obama signed a Major Disaster Declaration to make federal funding available to state and eligible local governments and certain nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by severe storms, flooding and mudslides. The areas that were impacted include Catron, Chaves, Cibola, Colfax, Guadalupe, Los Alamos, McKinley, Mora, Sandoval, San Miguel, Santa Fe, Sierra, Socorro and Torrance counties.


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