Penbrooke-Battersea: How to COPE with Emergencies


In case of emergency...

We're on our own. That's the message of the Santa Rosa Fire Department's Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE) program. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, thousands of people in New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the East Coast were without power for weeks. Fire, police, and other emergency responders are overwhelmed during such a disaster. If our small corner of Santa Rosa ever experiences the kind of widespread calamity the folks back East are enduring now, we'll have to rely on ourselves.

I'm Dennis O'Reilly. My wife Mimi and I have lived on the corner of Penbrooke and Battersea streets since 1999. I heard about Santa Rosa's COPE program last summer, and I thought this site might be a good way to get the information to our neighbors. The site reproduces several pages from the COPE booklet (PDF).

There's a lot of information in the booklet. A couple of things stuck out for me:

It's good to know about neighbors with limited mobility or other special needs.

Even if you have on hand all the items in the Emergency Supply Kit, make sure they're all functional. For example, our fire extinguishers are several years old, so they may exceeded their "use-by" date. Also, we've doled out all our spare house keys, and COPE recommends that you keep an extra set of keys in your emergency kit.

The COPE Web page is at this page. The Cope email address is

If you have any questions or would like more information, contact me at 

From the Santa Rosa Fire Department:

In Santa Rosa, our major emergency and disaster incidents can include earthquake, wildland and urban interface fires, flooding, landslides, chemical spills, power outages, mass casualty incidents, public health emergencies, and impacts from terrorism. Any of these incidents can leave families and individuals isolated and without power, water, or transportation.

We recommend that you visit to find out more about individual, family, and neighborhood preparedness. By preparing to help each other after a major emergency, we can all do our part to be survivors and help the community recover faster. The City of Santa Rosa is proud to promote the Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies, or COPE, which was developed in the Oakmont neighborhood in cooperation with the Santa Rosa Fire Department. It is our desire to see all neighborhoods organizing with the principles in the COPE Program.