We are empowering and advocating for our communities
The mission of COPE is to help residents, families, visitors, and neighbors become and remain better prepared to respond to and recover from emergency situations.
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By working together as residents, communities, and local agencies to prepare for emergencies, Northern Sonoma County will be safer and more resilient.
Share best practices
Who we serve
COPE Leaders who represent communities in the 4th District (including our most vulnerable (seniors, Spanish speakers, poor, etc.).
We serve as a California Fire Safe Council and serve our communities as leaders in emergency preparedness.
We promote partnership and collaboration with government agencies, public safety organizations and other organizations.
We also provide monthly Info Sessions for 1-on-1 assistance to emerging COPE Leaders.
We are a public forum to educate, train and encourage additional Northern Sonoma County communities to create COPE programs and prepare for emergencies.
We identify, plan, organize and spearhead projects that lead to increased emergency preparedness.
We advocate for our communities by influencing policy, bureaucratic processes and the allocation of resources for emergency preparedness.
Dr. Priscilla Abercrombie
Chief Marshall Turbeville
Dr. Nancy Brown
Dr. Donna Schafer
Dyan is a Marketing specialist who advises large corporations, such as Citibank, FedEx and Nabisco. Dyan earned her BA from UC Berkeley and her MBA from the Harvard Business School. She recently moved back to Northern California from Boston where she and her husband, Roger, lived for 35 years. While in Boston she was a Board Member of the local United Way organization where she ran special events and other fundraising activities. Having moved to Sonoma County, Dyan was impressed by the constructiveness and positiveness of this community. Dyan decided to join COPE because it so embodied these values; specifically, she was inspired by the faith that COPE places on “Neighbors helping Neighbors” responsibilities.
Marshall Turbeville is currently the Fire Chief of the Northern Sonoma County Fire District and a Battalion Chief with CAL FIRE. He feels that what we do in prevention and preparedness is much more important than what we do during an emergency response. Working together before an emergency, we may be able to prevent the emergency and if the emergency does occur, we are able to reduce the damages and losses. This opinion comes from his experience of being a responder for over 25 years and being a member of the Northern Sonoma County community. COPE provides a model to support grassroots individual and neighborhood level preparedness and helping each other during an emergency where they may not be enough responders to properly help everyone. COPE NoSoCo supports collaboration and coordination between neighborhoods and communities. Chief Turbeville was awarded the 2021 national Wildfire Mitigation Award by the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the USDA Forest Service (USFS).
Nancy Brown, PhD, is the Community Preparedness Program Manager for the Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management. Originally from Southern California she previously served as Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for The Hotels at the Disneyland Resort® in Anaheim, California. In this capacity their power of community to fill in response gaps and move preparedness forward was demonstrated daily by Cast Member commitment to support emergency preparedness to keep staff and guests safe in disaster. Nancy began attending COPE meetings in her professional capacity, to support community preparedness. Once again the power of community was being leveraged to get communities ready to stay safe in disaster. NoSoCo COPE has been her model for other areas of the County, demonstrating what local leadership and involvement can accomplish in both mitigation and preparedness efforts for neighborhoods across the County.
Marrianne McBride has served as the President & CEO of Council on Aging since August 2009. Prior to that role, she was the organization’s Development Director, responsible for raising up to four million dollars annually. In 2006 and 2007, Marrianne put together the strategic plan and led the effort to raise additional funding to build the new Meals on Wheels Kitchen. Prior to Council on Aging, she was the Vice President of Resource Development for United Way of Sonoma – Mendocino – Lake, responsible for a four to five million tri-county annual campaign. Marrianne has also served as the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Cloverdale, rebuilding the clubhouse after a 1995 fire and running the capital campaign to add a full-size gymnasium.
Marrianne is currently part of the leadership team of Aging Together Sonoma County and with that team leads the implementation of Age Friendly Sonoma County. Providing emergency meals and services to seniors during floods, fires, and COVID-19 reinforced the importance of keeping seniors connected. She recognizes COPE as a critical component in keeping seniors safe during emergencies. Serving on the COPE Board of Directors allows her the opportunity to “walk the talk”. Marrianne is a fifth generation Sonoma County resident and 36-year Cloverdale resident. In 2012, she received the North Bay Business Journal’s Nonprofit Leadership Award.
Donna Schafer, PhD, CPG, has spent her career as an academic, with a practical bent focused on the elderly community. At Kansas University’s Gerontology Center, Donna worked on applied research to understand conditions that contribute to the life satisfaction of elderly people in the community (one of which is the “ability to COPE with problems”). As a faculty member in the Gerontology Program at San Francisco State University, her favorite responsibility was helping students with thesis projects, many of which developed and/or evaluated community programs for older adults. As Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at Humboldt State University, she focused on enhancing graduate and professional education.
Donna is currently the Executive Director of the National Association for Professional Gerontologists, which she became upon retiring and moving to Healdsburg. To satisfy her desire to be involved with community projects, she joined COPE after a neighbor introduced her to the program. Donna and her neighbors formed the Borel COPE group to help look out for each other and create a safer community.
Diana is a licensed Professional Geologist with the State of California, life coach, energy healer, speaker, and international best-selling author. She earned her BS degree in geology from U.C. Davis and for over 35 years primarily investigated and remediated soil and groundwater contamination. She was the Environmental Division Manager for a consulting firm then the President/Co-Owner of a different consulting firm. In 2020, Diana started the Windsor COPE program after seeing a need for additional emergency preparedness for the Town of Windsor. She is one of the organizers of the Fire and Earthquake Safety Expo and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for organizing the event two years in a row. Along with other COPE members, she co-authored the COPE Emergency Preparedness Guidebook.
Diana understands many wildfire impacts, having lived only a half mile from the Tubbs Fire, evacuated for several days during the 2019 Kincade Fire, and worked on fire survivors during three Sonoma Strong Healing Fairs, which she co-founded. She is pleased to be able to assist her community in being better prepared for all emergencies and helping them understand the processes, especially those associated with earthquakes. Diana has been a resident of Sonoma County since 1981.
Elsa is the Community Outreach Specialist for COPE Northern Sonoma County, Northern Sonoma County Fire Protection District, and the Geyserville Volunteer Firefighter’s Association. Being able to help her community prepare for emergencies is a way for Elsa to fulfill a desire to connect with others and help build resilience.
Prior to her role as Community Outreach Specialist, Elsa held a career in journalism and communications. She was a reporter for a newspaper in Harlingen, Texas and freelanced for outlets such as Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Vogue Mexico, and Refinery29. Seeking a change in her life, Elsa moved to Healdsburg, California in 2021. She was the Healdsburg Tribune’s/SoCoNews Equity Reporter then a campaign manager for a ballot measure initiative for affordable childcare in Sonoma County, after the newspaper closed.
Spanish is Elsa’s first language and she feels a duality in herself when it comes to being both Mexican and American. Inclusiveness and equity are extremely important to her and being able to bring awareness to emergency preparedness excites her. Her goal, in any job she does, is to help others. She specifically would love to assist the Spanish-speaking community have the resources and knowledge needed to be better prepared for all potential emergencies. Elsa was born in Houston, Texas but grew up in Tampico, Tamaulipas, México and McAllen, Texas.