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ONLINE EVENT: Organizing Your Neighborhood for Wildfire Preparedness with COPE
June 23, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pmFree
Join us online on June 23 at 1:00 PM PT to hear how one community in the Wildland Urban Interface started organizing residents to prepare for disaster, and a few years later has built on that foundation to advocate, organize and train many more groups across Northern Sonoma County.
For this meeting we welcome Priscilla Abercrombie, the Board Chair of COPE Northern Sonoma County, who will share with us how she and her neighbors got started, and what steps to take if you are interested in doing this where you live.
Northern Sonoma County is no stranger to emergency. After nearby Lake County experienced the tragic Valley fire in 2015, not far away soon after, the residents of Fitch Mountain realized they should work together to be prepared in case their area was affected by wildfire. Fitch Mountain is an area located in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), an area at high risk for wildfire strikes. Neighbors were concerned that their environment had poor emergency access and multiple barriers to evacuation.
They had read about the Valley Fire in Lake County, and realized that it was neighbor helping neighbor that saved lives.
So After 2016, more COPE communities began to form and in the Fall of 2018, they convened a leadership group which included fire officials, local government officials and nonprofits that meet monthly to share information and work on readiness. They started small and local, adopting a program model called COPE, or Citizens (now Communities) Organized to Prepare for Emergencies, and prioritized helping everyone, including those most vulnerable neighbors like senior citizens, disabled and non-English speaking residents.
The adaptable COPE model is endorsed by fire departments, law enforcement, and county government and enables residents to be self-reliant when our first responders are busy elsewhere in times of disaster. Over 4 the years the initiative has grown, and is now recognized a California Fire Safe Council. The group provides monthly Info Sessions for 1-on-1 assistance to emerging COPE Leaders, and they advocate for their communities by influencing policy, bureaucratic processes and the allocation of resources for emergency preparedness.
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
To view more information about this program see: https://afterthefireusa.org/?p=63785&preview=true
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