SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - Local emergency authorities preparing for future storms like the one that devastated the Southern California community of Montecito with massive debris flows have eliminated the word "voluntary" from language used in evacuation orders.
Santa Barbara County officials told a press conference Thursday that the new terminology will be "pre-evacuation advisory," ''recommended evacuation warning" and "mandatory evacuation order."
Many residents remained in Montecito despite mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders when the deadly storm hit on Jan. 9.
Sheriff Bill Brown says that afterward it was found that some residents in the latter category focused on the word "voluntary" rather than the word "evacuation."
The debris flows from wildfire-scarred mountains above Montecito killed at least 21 people, destroyed more than 100 homes and damaged many others. Two people remain missing.
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