How We're Helping

Expert Assistance for County Leadership 

Immediately after the disaster, we asked County leadership what they needed. In response, we found, vetted and engaged three national experts in disaster recovery and prevention to support and advise the County and our community.

James Lee Witt is the former head of FEMA and previously worked with the local partnership that built the County’s Aware and Prepare program and the Emergency Operations Center. His role is to help find and secure funding. He has met with the current head of FEMA and members of Congress and is able to bring in additional high-level expertise as needed.

Retired Admiral Thad Allen, is Co-Chair of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine Resilient America Roundtable and former lead for recovery from Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf Oil Spill. He will advise on best practices he has studied and experienced in other parts of the country and world and how they may benefit our community.   

David Fukutomi, is a former Deputy Director of California’s Governor's Office of Emergency Services and FEMA disaster coordinator. He is working inside the County with top executives, disaster recovery officials and public safety chiefs. David, who has earned the trust of the key government and public safety officials, has been able to leverage his experience and contacts to obtain extensions and access senior disaster officials to ensure that agencies governing affected communities can optimize disaster funding opportunities funded by FEMA and other government sources. 

Public Private Partnership 

Due to the unique and complex nature of the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow disaster, and the scope of both short and long-term recovery efforts, The Partnership for Resilient Communities and the County of Santa Barbara established a public private partnership which allows us to provide expert consultants in areas such as strategic planning, coordination and communications across multiple agencies, and guidance regarding state and federal programs and funding sources. This is enabling the County to implement a strategic and informed approach to long-term recovery. 


We are working with the County, state, FEMA, US Forest Service and private experts to find and secure funding for short, medium and long term mitigation solutions.   


We are working on several fronts to understand our future risk and explore solutions to reduce the risk.  

Best Practices

Communities recover more quickly and are stronger when they are prepared for disasters such as floods, fires, debris flows, earthquakes and tsunamis. Leveraging the work established by the Aware and Prepare initiative and the Montecito Center and the experiences of our expert advisors, The Partnership for Resilient Communities will continue to advocate for a culture of resiliency.


"Our community is fortunate to be graced by so many unselfish and dedicated heroes amongst us. The Partnership for Resilient Communities should, definitely, be counted as one of our community treasures!"

– Charlene Nagel
President, Montecito Association