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Now that you have learned what you must do at home for you and your family to be prepared for emergencies and how to cope with an earthquake; the next next step is to develop your own neighborhood Emergency Preparedness Team. Here, again, the COPE (Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies) program developed by residents of the Santa Rosa Community of Oakmont, in cooperation with the Santa Rosa Fire Department and the American Red Cross, suggest the following steps:

1) Define Scope – Include up to 20 homes.
2) Build Neighborhood Teams – Enlist one leader and recruit two other co-leaders.
3) Take Census of Neighborhood – Names, skills, special needs, physical limitations and equipment (generators), ham radio, etc.
4) Record Information on Each Home – Location of gas, water, and electrical meters.
5) Identify Meeting Site & Evacuation Routes – Where to meet when an emergency occurs to account for families. Know alternative evacuation routes with a place to meet outside the neighborhood.
6) Schedule & Conduct a Meeting with Residents – Introduce leaders. Review results of census. Discuss central meeting places, escapes routes and team actions during an emergency and communications.
7) Maintain Your Plans & Kit with Ongoing Effort – Exercise your plan with family and neighbors.

This information can also be accessed via the internet at: http://srcity.org/cope

Since The Great California Shakeout takes place at 10:18 a.m., Thursday (10/18), next week would be an ideal time to discuss Emergency Preparedness with your neighbors.

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