top of page

Stay Safe and Informed in SB County's Flash Flood

Unprecedented flash flooding has closed down parts of the 101 between Santa Barbara and Ventura county, and wreaked havoc especially in the community of Montecito. Already, as of 2:30pm, January 9th, 8 fatalities and 25 injuries have been confirmed within SB County due to the storm. 50 rescues have occurred thanks to first responders. For storm information or transportation assistance, call (805) 681-5542. (@countyofsb Twitter)

The following safety information can ensure your family is as prepared as possible before, during and after a flash flood. More information can be found at:


  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! ®

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters.

  • Do not drive over bridges that are over fast-moving floodwaters. Floodwaters can scour foundation material from around the footings and make the bridge unstable.

  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.

  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground. Do not leave the car and enter moving water.

  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, rivers, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning.


Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

Prepare Your Home

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.

  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.

  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.


Flood Warning = "Take Action!" Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

Steps to Take:

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.

  • Evacuate if directed.

  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.


  • Return home only when authorities say it is safe.

  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.

  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded.

  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.

  • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes.


  • Know your flood risk.

  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.

  • Make a flood emergency plan for the relevant type/s of local flood risk with plans such as evacuation, shelter, locations for high ground.

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a minimum of 3 days of food and water, flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

  • Consider buying flood insurance.

  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

(Thank you to and @countyofsb twitter for information and photos)

bottom of page