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Santa Barbara County officials work to inform residents about rain storm

Santa Barbara County residents and officials are preparing for the upcoming heavy storm on Friday. Many residents are taking advantage of the free sandbags provided by Santa Barbara County.

Residents can take up to 25 free bags to protect their homes from flooding or mudslides.

County fire also increased staffing assignments in preparation for a higher volume of weather related calls.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management is also on storm watch. More staff members are scheduled to work long shifts on Friday.

“We’ve had a few storms in the past that have produced a lot of heavy rain, this one is going to be a much larger amount of rain over a short amount of time,” said Brian Uhl, emergency services manager for OEM.

Uhl encourages every resident to sign up for the “Aware and Prepare” notification system.

“If we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you. That’s the main goal of our mass notification system is to be able to get important information out to the right location, to the right people at the right time,” said Uhl.

Registered residents will receive free alerts to their cell phones and email accounts whenever an emergency incident is about to happen or is happening.

To register for “Aware and Prepare,” click here and then click the red box on the webpage.

For a list of locations to pick up sandbags, click here.

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