COPE -- Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies

Co-Chairs: Priscilla Abercrombie and Carol Morrill

Please look at this video:

We thought the 2016 Lake County fires were a wake-up call for us but, since then, we have had a number of devastating fires in the area. In the 2017, Fitch Mountain was on Evacuation Advisory because of close proximity of both the Pocket and Tubb’s fires. In the Tubb’s fire 22 people were killed and 5,636 homes were destroyed from Calistoga to Santa Rosa. In 2018, we were faced with yet another deadly fire in the Paradise area that leveled nearly 14,000 homes and killed 85 people. It is critical for those of us living on Fitch Mountain to take note since we live in a very similar high-risk WUI (wildland urban interface) environment with poor emergency access and multiple barriers to evacuation. If you read about these fires, you know that it was neighbor helping neighbor that saved lives.

So let’s get prepared! We hope you have all heard about COPE, (Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies,) by now. The Fitch Mountain Association along with many other similar communities in Northern Sonoma County and the City of Healdsburg have adopted this program to help us become better prepared to respond to emergencies. The program is endorsed by our first responders: Healdsburg Fire Department, CalFire, and Geyserville Fire. We have divided Fitch Mountain into neighborhoods and fortunately some volunteers have come forward to serve as Neighborhood Leaders from most neighborhoods. (We still need more neighborhood leaders, can you help?) We are asking each household (renter and/or owner) to complete a Neighborhood Survey Form so that we can better help each other in case of an emergency.

Completing the form is totally voluntary and your Neighborhood Leader will keep the information collected confidential. Leaders can also provide you with important information about emergency preparedness and answer questions. The FMA website has loads of information about reflective signs, chipping, defensible space, and more. Please join us in becoming better prepared to COPE with emergencies on Fitch Mountain! Get started by:

  1. Filling out your COPE survey and returning it to your COPE Leader. See the document links below and the contact information for the COPE Leaders. If you don’t have a Leader in your neighborhood yet, send your completed form to the FMA.
  2. Sign up for:

We have divided Fitch Mountain into neighborhoods (thanks to your help at the last annual meeting) and fortunately a volunteer has come forward to serve as Neighborhood Captain from most neighborhoods. (We still need a Captain for South Fitch Mountain. Can you help?) By now you should have received a letter from the FMA and information from your neighborhood captain. We are asking each household (renter and/or owner) to complete a Neighborhood Census Form so that we can better help each other in case of an emergency. For example information collected includes:

  • if there is a person with a disability in the household who will need help with evacuation,
  • animals on site,
  • location of the gas-shut-off valve in case no one is home during an emergency,
  • etc.
NAME NEIGHBORHOODEMAIL
Priscilla AbercrombieNorth Fitch Mountainpdanp@comcast.net
Rhonda BellmerRedwood Driverbellmer@me.com
Bo SimonsRiverviewbosimons1234@gmail.com
John ThompsonHilltopthompson.jct@gmail.com
Susan SteinmanDel Rio/lowersteinmanstudio@gmail.com
Ann BooneDel Rio/loweravboone@sonic.net
Donita ProctorSo. Fitch Mtn./Del Riodonita.proctor@gmail.com
Linda SeloverDel Rio/upperstormy2007@comcast.net
Tracy LoganCamp Rosetrloganimmordino@gmail.com
Steve JohnsonCamp Rosesteve@cnrgcalifornia.com
Carol MorrillLower Madrone, Buena Vistacarolmorrill@comcast.net
Mark BraunsteinUpper Madronesunwest@sonic.net
Carol MorrillSouth Fitch Mountaincarolmorrill@comcast.net
Dana EatonFitch Mountain Courtdana@Eatonstudios.com
Linda MansellShort term rentalslinda@lindamansell.com
Jim ResneckBenjamin Wayjim.resnick@gmail.com

We’re working on a class covering selection, maintenance and basic use of chainsaws and home generators for people thinking maybe they should have one. It’s probably going to be at Healdsburg Lumber on a Saturday in May. Experienced folks from the fire departments and vendors will be showing and discussing various sizes and models and answering your questions. We’ll send out specifics once it’s nailed down.

The folks at Geyserville Fire Protection District in collaboration with the COPE groups are presenting classes again this month (Click here for flier.):

  • Defensible Space
  • Public Safety applications and websites (e.g., SoCo Alert, Nixle, Fire cameras, PulsePoint, GroupMe, PG&E Wildfire Alerts, CalFire, etc.)
  • CPR
The Sonoma County FREE Chipper Program is cranking up again. The service will be available starting May 1st. There’s a queue forming for appointments. Go here.

Document links: