Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE) is the winner of the California League of Cities Helen Putnam Award for Excellence.
COPE is an organization started by the residents of the Santa Rosa Community of Oakmont, in collaboration with the Santa Rosa Fire Department and local American Red Cross Chapter. The program has been a great success, and 85% of the 2,800 households in the area are members of the COPE Neighborhood Preparedness Program. The City of Santa Rosa and Language People would like to expand and promote awareness in other cities to help prepare neighborhoods for all types of disasters. The goal of COPE is to help communities, neighborhoods, residents, and families prepare for and survive disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and other emergency situations. COPE hopes that promoting awareness will help communities become and continue to be prepared for emergencies. These efforts include fostering individual response plans tailored to specific locations, creating individual emergency supply kits, and educating all members of the community. To achieve this goal COPE provides a guide for setting up COPE Neighborhood Teams called, “How to COPE with Emergencies.”