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Local emergency offices emphasizing importance of disaster planning as National Preparedness Month begins

SLO County & SB County Emergency Services

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – With National Preparedness Month now underway, emergency management offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties are emphasizing to the public the importance of preparing for potential disasters and catastrophic events.

"Year round you hear from our team to take action in the face of emergencies and disasters. In the month of September, we’re calling on you to take action to prepare," said Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management Director, Kelly Hubbard. "Our communities have been impacted this year alone by significant storms, a tornado, earthquakes, fires and heat events, just to name a few. During National Preparedness Month, take steps to ensure your personal safety and your family’s wellbeing."

After experiencing several natural disasters throughout the year, both the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management and San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services point out the significance of early disaster planning and preparation.

"We are definitely not immune here," said Rachel Dion, San Luis Obispo County Emergency Services Coordinator. "As we saw this winter, and we're still in the middle of fire season and we've gotten lucky here the past couple of years, but we have a huge amount of grass this year, so we want residents to be prepared for any type of emergency they may face, and to be aware what hazards they are vulnerable to depending on what part of the county they live in, so if you live on the coast, you're going to be susceptible to the risks of a tsunami, but if you live in the North County, where you're going to be more at risk of wildfire, so just being aware of what those risks are in the area that you live in."

Officials in the two counties are advising residents to start building or updating an emergency plan, build or refresh a disaster emergency supply kit, as well as sign up for alert messaging.

"One of the easiest things you can do is build an emergency supply kit for your family, to make sure you have enough food and water to sustain your family for up to 72 hours after an emergency," said Dion. "That you have flashlights and batteries, that you have a battery-powered radio so that  even if your phone is dead, you can still hear emergency alerts from emergency officials, if you need to evacuate or shelter in place, making sure that if you are an older person, that you prepare for those special needs that you may have. If you have any medical needs or specialized medical equipment or medication, that you're planning for that, and also if you're a pet owner, you're also planning for your pets as well. 

For more information about emergency planning in Santa Barbara County, click

For additional emergency disaster planning in San Luis Obispo County, click

Article Topic Follows: Safety
National Preparedness Month

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Dave Alley

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