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Disaster Preparedness

The following resources will help you prepare for natural disasters: GET EMERGENCY ALERTS! Aware & Prepare: In Santa Barbara County, residents can receive Aware & Prepare alerts and updates via text messages, emails, and cellular and landline phone calls. To receive these messages, go to, click the red “Register for Alerts” box, and provide the necessary information. If you need help signing up, call 805-681-5526 or email Nixle: This information service operates nationwide, coordinating with local public-safety agencies to send alerts via text messages and social media. To sign up, simply text your zip code to 888777. Wireless…

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Disaster Relief & Recovery

Partnering with Santa Barbara County Public Works Department and the Workforce Development Board and operating under a Road Enhancement Partnership Project permit, the Bucket Brigade is deploying a labor force — supported by disaster-recovery funding from the U.S. Department of Labor — to improve the safety and aesthetic of county roads impacted by the Thomas Fire, 1/9 Debris Flow, and subsequent winter storms. The first stretch of our roadway enhancement project was completed in January. With further input from the Montecito Trails Foundation and the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, these crews are also working in public open spaces…

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Community Self-Rescue (CSR)

In the wake of the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow, the Bucket Brigade deployment plan was based on the concept of the Incident Command System (ICS) used by professional first responders. We adapted ICS to allow for rapid scaling of coordinated volunteer and NGO response during the recovery phase of the disaster. We worked steadily through the recovery process, field-testing and adjusting our methodologies based on dynamic and unforeseen circumstances. We realized that our modified ICS was an incredibly effective tool for interagency cooperation and deployment. We began documenting this system for second-response and recovery and have developed a…

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Youth Leadership Program

In 2019, we will launch our Youth Leadership Program to train high school students in the essential components of emergency response and disaster-relief deployment. Youth will graduate the program proficient in emergency response, leadership skills, and the readiness to serve the community. While meeting community-service hours, youth will also be shown numerous career paths in disaster relief and public health and safety. This civic exposure will benefit the individuals while creating a distributed network of trained cohorts countywide. The Youth Leadership Program will instruct participants in the essential components of emergency response and effective deployment, including:  CERT (Community Emergency Response…

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Memorial Benches

The Bucket Brigade is creating a custom memorial bench for each victim of the 1/9 Debris Flow. Located around the community and accessible to the general public, the benches will form a network of lasting memorials to help family, friends, and community members to heal and reflect on the lives lost. We are coordinating with professional woodworker and Santa Barbara-native David Mosely to build the benches with wood from fallen trees in the community. Fastened to each bench will be a dedicative bronze plaque with text provided by the family of the decedent.   Our first memorial bench dedication took…

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Search for Lost Children

Since the Debris Flow of January 9, 2018, 21 of the 23 victims have been found. Sadly, two have not. Lydia Sutthithepa and John “Jack” Cantin are still missing. The search for Lydia and Jack lies at the heart of our community’s quest for closure after this horrible tragedy. Looking for Montecito’s lost children is not something we talk about a lot at the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, but it is something we have been quietly, persistently doing for more than a year. Most of the mud has been cleaned up from homes and properties throughout the community. But not…

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