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By Aaron Briner
Oct 18, 2019 at 09:08 PM

Every October 17, at 10:17 a.m., millions of people worldwide in schools, businesses, non-profits, government agencies, neighborhoods, organizations, and households practice how to Drop, Cover and Hold during the Great American Shakeout Drill. 

The goal of ShakeOut is to encourage people and organizations to be prepared to survive and to recover quickly when the next big earthquake occurs. 

Yesterday, Montecito Fire and the Montecito Emergency Response and Recovery Action Group (MERRAG) held the ShakeOut drill at Montecito Fire Station 1. This year’s scenario included a complete power and communication failure within the district. MERRAG (the CERT team in Montecito) exercised their radio communication system, which includes designated radio carriers throughout the district. Utilizing pre-scripted scenarios, emergencies were radioed in to simulate emergency needs of the community. Those simulated needs were relayed to the fire department incident command for prioritization and appropriate response and action.  

MERRAG holds community preparedness presentations every second Thursday of each month at Montecito Fire Station 1 at 595 San Ysidro Rd. To become a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) member, training is scheduled for November 6-9, 2019, at Station 1. 

For more information regarding MERRAG training, contact Joyce Reed at 805-969-2537.

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