Santa Barbara County unveiled a new emergency website last week but its public outreach campaign is still centered on one message: Sign up for notifications, because the county can’t alert you if it doesn’t know how to reach you.
The Office of Emergency Management uses different systems to notify people about weather hazards, wildfires, evacuations and other disaster information. They include Aware & Prepare and Nixle, which send messages over phone calls, text messages, emails and social media posts — .
Authorities revealed new evacuation procedures last week, including a timeline of advisories, warnings and mandatory evacuation orders ahead of storms that could drop debris-flow-causing rainfall.
The California Highway Patrol will also close down Highway 101, between Santa Barbara and Highway 150 in Carpinteria, ahead of these significant storms.
It was standard for authorities to go door-to-door (if there is time) notifying residents to leave mandatory evacuation areas, but Sheriff Bill Brown said that may not happen in the future because of the large impacted areas.
Ahead of strong storms, the county could evacuate all of Montecito and parts of Summerland and Carpinteria — and that’s just the communities below the Thomas Fire burn area.
OEM Director Rob Lewin said county staff plan to attend community meetings and use messaging to get the word out for future evacuations.
“There’s nothing we will not do to notify people,” he said.
Below are ways to get emergency information and sign up for alerts from the county, cities and other governmental agencies.
Alerts can be sent out in phone calls, texts and emails, and can be customized for the areas you care about, like where you live, work and go to school.
Nixle alerts are available in English and Spanish, but Aware & Prepare alerts are English-only.
According to the county, the emergency notification system “will be used to notify you about imminent threats to health and safety as well as informational notifications that affect your locations or work environments. Administrators will send notifications regarding severe weather, flooding, gas leaks, police activity and more.”
Click here for more Frequently Asked Questions (and answers) about Santa Barbara County alerts.
Cities have emergency preparedness and notification information including:
Weather forecasts and other information is available on the National Weather Service website here.
The Santa Barbara County Radio Ready program is a partnership between the county and local stations to get out emergency information.
The list of participating stations changes occasionally as ownership changes, according to the county, but as of early February, stations in the Radio Ready System include:
» KTMS 990 AM
» KTYD 99.99 FM
» KLITE 101.7 FM
» KCSB 91.9 FM
» KFYZ 94.5 FM
» KSPE 1490 AM SPANISH
» KIST 107.7 FM SPANISH
» Santa Maria KUHL 1440 AM
» Santa Ynez KRAZ 105.9 FM
» Solvang KSYV 96.7 FM
» KZSB 1290 AM
» KCLU 1340 AM
The county 2-1-1 helpline (available by dialing 2-1-1) connects people to health and human services and has disaster relief information.
Click here to sign up for Noozhawk’s free breaking news text alerts to your cell phone.