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American Red Cross To Shelter People Displaced by Burn in Escondido

SAN DIEGO, December 8, 2010 – The San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross will operate a shelter to accommodate residents in Escondido who are evacuated Wednesday evening due to a planned burn operation by law enforcement and emergency response personnel. On Thursday, December 9 at 9:30am, emergency responders will initiate a burn operation on Via Scott in Escondido; the purpose is to destroy the property as well as hazardous materials found in the residence a few weeks ago.

Door-to-door evacuations will commence on Wednesday at 7:00pm, and residents will not be allowed access to their homes after 3:00am. The Red Cross evacuation center will be located at the M. Gordon Clarke Field House/University Student Union on the campus of California State University, San Marcos. (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Road, San Marcos, CA 92096) Doors will open at 6:00pm on Wednesday, December 8th and the Red Cross will continue operation until residents are allowed back into their homes on Thursday.

The Red Cross will provide shelter, cots and blankets, meals, snacks and hydration, health and mental health services. Restroom facilities, including showers, will be available for client use. Remember to bring any necessary medication, important documents, cash and sentimental items as needed. Please note that the evacuated area will be patrolled by law enforcement during the incident, so as to protect homes and property.

The Red Cross will provide a limited number of laptop computers with Internet access. Wireless Internet will be accessible in the event that people would like to bring their own laptops. Updates on the operation and evacuation will be posted at Red Cross personnel will be in contact with appropriate agencies in order to disseminate information about when residents can return to their homes.

Pets will not be allowed in the shelter. Pet owners should plan to make suitable arrangements for their animals prior to and during the operation; plan to find a pet-friendly hotel, leave pets with friends or family that are outside the evacuation area or place their pet in a boarding facility. In the event that residents are unable to make appropriate arrangements, San Diego County Animal Services will provide a designated area for pets that will be co-located with the shelter.

Chris Marek, Chief Officer of Development and Communications, will be on-site and available for media interviews from 5:00pm until 7:00pm. At that time, discussion about the shelter operation, filming of the shelter and interviews with willing shelter clients can be arranged.

The Red Cross has been providing lodging and services to two families who were displaced after the original discovery of hazardous materials on Via Scott on November 19th. We will continue to provide support to those clients until they are permitted to return home.

Please contact the Red Cross with questions at 858-309-1200. You may also visit for updates.

About the American Red Cross San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter

The San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross is leading the effort to make San Diego and Imperial Valley Counties “America’s Most Prepared Community.” As a charitable organization and not a government agency, the Red Cross depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The local chapter also provides nutritional counseling through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. For more information, please call (858) 309-1200 or visit