November 2020: Join Us In Recovery

BRACE Welcomes New CEO, Michelle Luckett

Michelle Luckett will begin her new role as CEO of BRACE on November 9. Michelle will succeed Greg Strader, the founding CEO who has provided professional leadership since the founding of BRACE in 2006 upon his retirement at the end of the year. 

Michelle comes to BRACE from the Society of St. Vincent de Paul South Pinellas, where she managed the federal, state and nonprofit grant portfolio of $24 million. Prior to that role, Michelle served as the Monroe County Florida Long Term Recovery Group Executive Director following Hurricane Irma, with an operating budget of $1.5 million. She secured over $800,000 in program-specific grants to assist survivors. Michelle designed, planned, funded and then operated the first Volunteer Village in the state using shipping containers to provide a creative solution to volunteer housing in the Florida Keys.

With 560 nonprofits registered in the Florida Keys, Michelle was tasked with getting those organizations providing disaster relief and recovery services to work together. By the end of the first year, the LTRG had 50 organizations attending monthly meetings; that collectively logged over 50,000 hours of volunteer service.

While in Monroe County, Michelle served as the Emergency Support Function 15 (ESF-15) coordinator in the Emergency Operations Center for two years. She acted as the central point for the coordination of information and activities of voluntary agencies in the Florida Keys responding in times of activation and was tasked with ensuring the effective utilization of donated cash, goods, and services.

Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Regional Studies and is recognized as a national speaker on disaster recovery. Michelle indicates, “a willingness to learn, a passion for collaborating, and being flexible and adaptive have been key to my success in the emergency management, non-profit world.”

BRACE partners and the community are invited to meet Michelle at the Escambia Long Term Recovery Group meeting on December 1, 2020. The meeting will begin at 11:00 a.m., at the Escambia County Public Safety Building at 6575 North “W” Street in Room 523, or by Zoom.

Join Us In Person - Click Here To Register

BRACE Invites You To Escambia Long Term Recovery Group

Date: December 01, 2020

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Location: Escambia County Public Safety Building - Room 523

6575 North W Street, Pensacola, Florida

Join Us In Person - Register Here

If you are unable to make it in - person - Join Us Online

Voluntary organizations active in disaster are still hard at work, providing muck out, gutting, tree cutting, debris removal, and applying of tarps assistance to survivors of Hurricane Sally in Escambia County. Two of our disaster response partners have reported on their assistance. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and Florida Baptist Disaster Relief report:

  • 3,771 survivor work order requests addressed

  • 108,306 volunteer hours assisting with response

  • 4,937 volunteers assisting in response

  • $2,945,923.20 value of volunteer service based on “Independent Sector” valuation 

The long road to assist survivors in their recovery has begun. You are invited to attend the next Escambia County Long Term Recovery Group convening hosted by the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) and United Way of West Florida. 

The purpose of the convenings is to coordinate efforts to continue to assist survivors of Hurricane Sally with governmental, private, and public organizations to assist survivors. Nearly 22,000 families in Escambia County have already registered with FEMA for assistance. FEMA advises they have identified over $14.1 million in unmet needs after insurance and grants with four weeks still to go till the registration deadline.

The Escambia Long-Term Recovery Group is divided into four working groups with meetings scheduled as follows:

  • Disaster Case Management – Meeting Scheduled for November 10, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. on Zoom Cloud Meetings - Join Us!

  • Construction Management – Meeting scheduled for November 12, 2020 at 8:30 a.m. on Zoom Cloud Meetings - Join Us!

  • Emotional and Spiritual Care – Meeting scheduled for November 12, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. on Zoom Cloud Meetings - Join Us!

  • Volunteer Management – Meeting scheduled for November 18, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. on Zoom Cloud Meetings - Join Us!

BRACE and the Escambia Long Term Recovery Group partner with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist survivors in their recovery. FEMA has mobilized its personnel to staff Mobile Registration Intake Centers to assist with registration and answer questions about disaster assistance programs. 

Disaster survivors with uninsured losses can apply by:

  • Visiting;

  • Downloading the FEMA App; or by

  • Calling 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY). Multilingual operators are available. The toll-free numbers are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Those who use a relay service such as a videophone, InnoCaption, or CapTel should provide FEMA with their specific phone number assigned to that service.

The following information is necessary when you register:

  • Address of the damaged dwelling where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address)

  • Current mailing address

  • Current telephone number

  • Insurance information

  • Total household annual income

  • Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account)

  • A description of disaster-caused damage and losses

For more information, contact BRACE Disaster Recovery Specialist, Lynn Dobry, by email at or by phone (850) 739-3981.

The City Of Quincy Unveiled Its New Coca-Cola Mural

The Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) partnered with Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) to support local and governmental organizations in long-term recovery efforts that have been impacted by Hurricane Irma and Michael in Florida.

AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) helps these organizations by building capacity that will assist in restoring the communities. One of our AmeriCorps VISTAs, Hunter Harris, joined the City of Quincy as Economic Development Specialist. He has been instrumental in numerous ways, including restoring the Coca-Cola mural. Hunter explains the significance of The City of Quincy and the Coca-Cola partnership throughout the years.

"The mural meant investment in the city once again post-hurricane Michael. It meant positive news in Gadsden county. It meant bringing people of all backgrounds to speak about the experiences in Quincy and with Coca-Cola. It meant way more than I could even imagine, and it is the start of positive change in Quincy. Coca-Cola's revenue helped fund the Gadsden Arts Center and Museum and the Gadsden Performing Arts Studio. Coca-Cola's impact is widespread and a part of Quincy's core history. This mural's restoration represents the immense history Coca-Cola has in the City of Quincy, and it is going to be a testament for our relationship, and the impact Coca-Cola will have in the future," stated Hunter.

BRACE Invites You To Make A Difference

BRACE sponsors the only AmeriCorps VISTA program in Florida to focus on disaster services. We are recruiting potential VISTAs for the following positions in Escambia County:

  • BRACE Regional Development Coordinator: As a VISTA, you will use your research and writing skills to work with leadership to research and write grant applications for BRACE and Hurricane Sally and Michael partner organizations serving low-income citizens and impoverished communities impacted by the 2020 Category 2 Hurricane Sally and the 2018 Category 5 Hurricane Michael.

Apply Today!

  • BRACE Training Coordinator, As a VISTA, you will develop an instructor cadre to provide instruction and training in CERT, Teen CERT, Citizen Corps programs, shelter management, management of GPOD's, and FEMA Disaster training. Additionally, you will recruit trainers, instructors, and subject matter experts to teach adults and children.

Apply Today!

  • BRACE Volunteer Coordinator, As a VISTA, you will build and sustain a volunteer program to engage volunteers in Citizen Corps, CERT, Emergency Support Function 15, Preparedness, Response, Recovery, Mitigation, Homebound and Functional Needs Support Services throughout the counties in Florida covered by the program before, during and after disasters

Apply Today!

Make an impact - Sign up Today!

Veteran Roundtable

BRACE greatly appreciates our servicemen and women who dedicated their lives to serving our country. BRACE is organizing its first Veteran’s Roundtable (VR) to encourage veterans to discuss concerns, opportunities, and events. It will also encompass speakers and online trainings. The Veteran Roundtable will be accessible through Zoom.

Every third Tuesday of the Month

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Zoom Cloud Meetings

Join Us - Register Here

To access the Zoom meeting and for more information about ways the public can show appreciation for veterans, contact BRACE's Veteran Engagement Coordinator, Paula Benson by email or phone 850-739-3985.

Operation Appreciation

Our veterans have been on the frontline and behind the scene heroes who have sacrifice their time and families to serve our country. Due to the coronavirus, the word "hero" has expanded to our essential workers.

BRACE is launching a collaborative initiative called "Operation Appreciation” which encourages the community to join us to say "thank you" by sending letters, notes, or drawings of appreciation to troops and everyday essential workers for their service to our community and country during covid-19 pandemic.

These letters of appreciation will be distributed locally in Escambia County to our military bases, first responders, healthcare professionals, nursing homes, grocery stores, schools, restaurants and home improvement stores.

Let’s show our gratitude!

For more information, contact BRACE's Veteran Engagement Coordinator,

Paula Benson by email pbenson