Power Shutoff Meeting Draws Mark West Neighbors

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With PG&E vowing to shutoff power to large areas if critical fire weather arrives, neighbors all across the North Bay are joining together to gather information and offer support to one another.

On Thursday, a few dozen neighbors living in the Mark West, Larkfield and Wikiup areas came together for an informational meeting at Mark West Charter School.

The gathering was organized by Susan Sloan, who works in the Sonoma County Emergency Management Department and has organized a so-called COPE chapter in her Wikiup neighborhood.  COPE stands for Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies, and the model is being encouraged by the city of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County as a way for neighbors to band together to assist one another and organize in the case of future emergencies.

Sloan discovered that most of her neighbors had questions about what will happen if the power goes out, and how to prepare.  The meeting was designed to answer some of those questions by bringing together experts from the county who understand PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff program.

The city’s largest COPE chapter is in the Oakmont neighborhood, where some two thirds of the 2800 households are signed up.


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