The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management today welcomed home two of its senior emergency managers who were recently deployed to New Mexico in support of the State's flood recovery effort. Richard Abrams and Joe Guzzardi were deployed for 21 days to various parts of New Mexico which experienced severe flooding and fires in recent months which elicited several Presidential Declarations of Disaster.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management has begun working in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to bolster its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) capabilities, staff competency, and national consistency using grant funded technical assistance experts familiar with emergency operations centers nationwide.

The Office of Emergency Management hosted a tabletop exercise and policy discussion Monday at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

If disaster strikes you might not have access to food, water, or electricity for some time. By taking time now to prepare emergency water, food and disaster supplies kit, you can provide for your entire family. Even though it is unlikely that an emergency would cut off your food supplies for two weeks, consider maintaining a supply that will last that long.

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) has directed the County of Santa Barbara's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) 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 Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management initiated a no-notice Level III activation of its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 0800 on Tuesday, November 26th. The activation exercise was designed to familiarize County staff and newly identified personnel to the EOC and to "stress test" its infrastructure and technology capacity.

Santa Barbara County emergency responders use several methods to communicate to their residents during emergencies. An important communication tool is the emergency telephone notification system; Reverse 9-1-1.

October is Fire Prevention Month and the history of National Fire Prevention Week has its roots in the Great Chicago Fire, which occurred on October 9, 1871 and in two days destroyed half of the existing city and left 300 dead and 100,000 homeless.

Today, September 5th, 2013, from 1pm to 4:30pm at our County EOC the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management hosted the USGS and CalOES team in the rollout and presentation of their SAFRR (Science Application for Risk Reduction) tsunami scenario results.

FEMA Releases Preparedness-in-America Study

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM). The County of Santa Barbara Office of Emergency Management and its cities have committed to participate in this year's National Preparedness to increase preparedness throughout the United States.

People in Santa Barbara have their homes in woodland settings - in or near forests, rural areas, or remote mountain sites. There, homeowners enjoy the beauty of the environment, but face the very real danger of wildfire.

The Southern California region is renowned as "Earthquake Country". Over three years ago, research from UC Irvine identified that the San Andreas Fault has caused a major earthquake approximately every 137 years during the last 700 years. The earliest recorded earthquake was in the Imperial Valley April 19, 1892 registering at 7.1. Since then California has experienced over 10 earthquakes measuring over 6.1. This means that the California is well overdue for a major catastrophic earthquake. Despite this obvious risk, the vast majority of residents are poorly prepared.

It has been two years since the devastating earthquake in Japan that triggered a massive Tsunami initiating Tsunami notices along the United States' west coast. The Japanese earthquake and Tsunami raised local awareness about the risks posed to the west coast of the United States. The risk is not just from a far-source event such as in Japan, Chile or even Alaska, but also the risk posed by a near-source event caused by a major local earthquake.

This past week the northeastern United States was battered by one of the largest winter storms in recent history. As a result, an estimated 655,000 people lost electrical power. Days later, an estimated 270,000 still remain without power. During or after a major emergency, emergency managers work with local media to provide important information to the residents impacted or at risk. Shelter information, first aid sites, evacuation areas and emergency feeding sites are just some of the examples of information provided in cooperation with local media partners.

The weather in the Santa Barbara County area this week is beautiful. For emergency managers that can be a problem. With the month of February just beginning, the historical high-volume rain months are quickly approaching.