Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE)

COPE Kincade Banner of Love

What Is COPE?

Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE), was started by residents of the Santa Rose Community of Oakmont, in cooperation with the Santa Rosa Fire Department and the American Red Cross.

​After the October 2017 wildfires, residents throughout Sonoma County were reaching out to the local fire departments to help them prepare for the next emergency. While the City of Healdsburg did not suffer the large loss of life and property as other areas in the County, many residents felt the need to do more to prepare. One of the revelations that came about after the fires was that many lives were saved by "neighbors helping neighbors". 

​The northern Sonoma County COPE Leadership group including Geyserville Fire Protection District, Cloverdale Fire Protection District and Healdsburg Fire Department asked one of its residents, Margie Hanselman, to talk about why she initiated a COPE group in her neighborhood after the 2017 wildfires.

What can COPE do for ME?

​The Healdsburg Fire Department is committed to help the communities it serves to prepare for the next emergency.  The northern Sonoma County COPE leadership group meets monthly at the Healdsburg Fire Department.  The group works together to provide the latest information to inform the residents participating in the COPE groups.

​The work the COPE groups did prior to the 2019 Kincade Fire paid off in northern Sonoma County.  COPE neighborhoods were prepared and helped others to evacuate their homes.  They had their Go Bags and left.  Fire officials kept the COPE leaders informed and these message were sent to the neighborhood COPE groups.  This helped bridge a gap of current local information that was missing in the 2017 Tubbs and Pocket Fires.
Supervisor James Gore talks to the COPE groups at the Healdsburg Community Center
The COPE groups leaders talk to Assemblyman Jim Woods at a Fitch Mountain resident's home

The COPE leadership group has reached out to legislators to voice the concerns of the participants.  Examples of information the COPE groups have disseminated are emergency notifications, evacuation plans, available resource guides and links, trainings and workshops, pre-attack maps, fuels management, structural hardening, COPE forms, COPE 101 training and legislative updates to name a few.

The COPE Leadership group has created the COPE 101 Handbook to help you create a COPE group within your own neighborhood.  Please visit COPE Northern Sonoma County webpage for meetings, workshops and COPE Office Hours held at the Healdsburg Fire Department.

If you have an interest to join a COPE group or start your own, please contact Linda Collister at (707) 431-3125.