Staff Report

Kelly Hubbard, the emergency manager at the Municipal Water District of Orange County for the past 15 years, has been named director of Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

A statement from the county’s Executive Office her extensive experience in emergency planning, assessing facility vulnerabilities, disaster finance, coordination with nonprofits, public-private partnerships, and crisis management.

“Ms. Hubbard is a proven emergency management professional with an ability to bring together and lead community partners and government agencies in successful preparedness, response and recovery efforts,” said County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato. “We look forward to her tenure with us and providing similar leadership for our county.”

In her previous role, Hubbard served as Emergency Services Manager for the Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County (WEROC) to support and manage emergency preparedness, planning, response, and recovery efforts among 37 Orange County water and wastewater utilities.

She was also responsible for recruiting, training and engaging with Emergency Operations Center staff and volunteers, and managing an annual budget of $650,000.

In her capacity at WEROC, Hubbard collaborated and prepared for many types of disasters, including earthquakes, droughts, pandemics, infrastructure failures, wildfires and, most recently, preparedness for planned utility shutdowns in times of high fire danger.

“Kelly will bring a highly collaborative approach and perspective to our committed and talented Office of Emergency Management team,” said Matt Pontes, assistant county executive officer and interim Director of Emergency Management. “She will lead efforts to ensure our communities are prepared for future emergencies and challenges.”

Hubbard has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cal Poly Pomona and a master’s degree in emergency services administration from Cal State Long Beach.

Hubbard succeeds Rob Lewin, who left the county in May after three years leading the Office of Emergency Management following a long career in the fire service with California State Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal-Fire).