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Preparing for earthquakes during a pandemic: Santa Barbara County hopes residents stay ready

State Street downtown walking
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Santa Barbara County could move into state's red reopening tier next week.

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - For some, staying prepared for large earthquakes has been pushed to the back burner due to the recent battles with COVID-19 infections and an economic emergency.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management says people should continue to be ready in case a large or destructive earthquake hits. Wednesday's Lone Pine quake sent some tremors through the state, and was felt as far west as Santa Barbara.

“Preparedness is an everyday, year-round concept that everyone should be focused on,” OEM Director Kelly Hubbard said. “Make sure you have a communications plan: How are you going to communicate with your kids, your parents, your family members about where you are and your safety?”

Emergency kits are also crucial. Along with usual supplies like food, water, flashlights, batteries and first aid kits, Hubbard suggests adding items like extra face masks, hand sanitizer or soap during the pandemic.

She also wants everyone to have those kits ready to go at all times.

“The next time you go to the grocery store, buy some additional water,” she said. “The time after that… pick up another first aid kit or some extra band-aids. Just add to that kit slowly, so it doesn’t feel like a large burden.”

Hubbard also says homeowners and renters should consider buying earthquake insurance.

You can find more important information and sign up for emergency alerts at

Article Topic Follows: Safety

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Ryan Fish

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