MONTECITO, Calif. -- It's not if, but when the next big earthquake will hit. The last major earthquakes to hit Southern California was July 2019 near Ridgecrest. Two major quakes hit a day apart, a 6.8 foreshock and a 7.1 mainshock, rocked California as far as Baja California, Arizona and Nevada.
October 15 is The Great California ShakeOut Day. It's a day to remind Californians to practice earthquake preparedness and safety. Thursday Montecito Fire Department had a drill at 10:15 a.m.
MFD's drill included MERRAG, Montecito Emergency Response & Recovery Action Group. The drill simulated a loss of phone towers and blackouts forcing them to use their backup radio communication system.
MERRAG is over thirty years old and has about thirty volunteer radio holders. Most radio holders are at schools, community centers and homeowner associations. MERRAG just added twenty new radios and is looking for more volunteers to expand their network.
MFD division chief, Alan Widling, said everyone should practice earthquake safety. The more someone practices before a disaster the better they will be during the disaster.