Video messaging campaign aims to help residents prepare for predicted El Niño storm events
Ahead of the 2023/2024 rain season, Montecito Fire Department is asking community members to prepare for significant storm events. A new video messaging campaign aims to clearly explain the steps residents should take to be ready for upcoming storms.
The video was created in response to the National Weather Service’s warning that the predicted El Niño weather pattern this winter has potential to produce unprecedented storms, coupled with Montecito’s long history of flooding and debris flow events.
In the video, community members are encouraged to utilize sandbags to prevent storm damage to their properties. Prior to forecasted rain events, Montecito Fire Department establishes a sandbag filling station at Lower Manning Park with sand, shovels and environmentally responsible burlap bags. Please use this resource to protect your home.
Next, the video underscores the importance of all residents reviewing the Storm Impact Consideration Map. The interactive map was developed following the 1/9 Debris Flow of 2018 and was last updated in December 2021. It shows areas of Montecito at greatest risk of damage during a debris flow. Property owners whose homes fall within the red shading are asked to have a plan to evacuate in the event of a severe rainstorm. Type your address into the map’s search bar to see if your home is at risk of impacts from a future debris flow.
We encourage residents to identify at least two evacuation routes from their home, considering that some roads may become impassable during a storm. Also, evacuating early, even before an official order to leave, contributes to more efficient traffic flow for residents and first responders during an incident.
Community members are asked to have an emergency go-bag ready and plan for their pets’ needs. Plus, check in on vulnerable loved ones and neighbors who may need help and extra time to evacuate safely.
Lastly, we urge everyone to sign up for local emergency alerts at www.ReadySBC.org and follow Montecito Fire on social media for incident updates.