Samarkand Retirement Community Remains on Alert

Post a Comment » Written on May 9th, 2009     
Filed under: News
SANTA BARBARA, CA (May 9, 2009) – Residents and staff at The Samarkand in Santa Barbara remain safe following a challenging Thursday evening monitoring the Jesusita fire.

The Samarkand was not required to evacuate. But in the last three days, approximately 20 percent of its residential community and several assisted living residents left campus to be with family members.

About eight staff members and their families, including Executive Director Paul Peterson, have had to evacuate their homes. Since the fire broke out on Tuesday, the winds driving the fire have picked up in the evenings and subsided during the day, according to Peterson. Core campus services continue as usual. The 12-person campus fire response team, composed of administrators and other campus leaders, has shifted its schedule to cover the critical evening hours.

Thursday evening was particularly challenging for the team. At 1 a.m. the Santa Barbara County Emergency Operations Center recommended that staff and residents remain on campus. But at 3 a.m., a REVERSE 911® call issued an evacuation warning. Peterson and the response team scrambled to obtain clarification. By 4 a.m. the EOC had assured them that The Samarkand and neighboring Cottage Hospital had been mistakenly included in an evacuation area warning.

The team remains in contact with the EOC on evacuation status and procedures. It updates residents on evacuation status, predictions and evacuation procedures regularly.

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