Image by Clay Banks


CEO's Message

Thanks to the efforts of the over 500 partners of BRACE, great progress has been made toward the vision of making our community the most disaster resilient in America.  Since the founding of BRACE in 2006 following Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis we have proven that partnership is the key to accomplishing together what no individual or organization could do alone.    


Together as partners, we have assisted thousands of survivors of hurricanes, floods and tornadoes through the often difficult path to recovery by restoring hope and homes.  We have reached over 100,000 individuals with emergency preparedness, training and education that will provide benefit to our community for at least a generation.     


As a community based disaster coalition of partners, our collective impact on resilience of our community have been recognized more frequently by FEMA through the Individual & Community Preparedness Awards Program than any similar organization.  The efforts of the partners of BRACE have been recognized with FEMA’s top award for “Promising Partnerships” and the John D. Solomon Preparedness Award, the highest presented through the program. 


If you are already a partner in the work of BRACE, thank you for making a difference in the disaster resilience of our community.  If you aren’t yet a partner, we invite you to join us as we make our community the most disaster resilient in America. 

Greg Strader, Executive Director & CEO

Our Mission

Making our community disaster-resilient through public-private partnerships to educate, train, and engage donors and volunteers.

Our Vision

To be the most disaster -resilient community in America.

Our Core Values

Core Values


We are all connected.

What happens to one affects us all.


Every voice has value. Partnership is fundamental in achieving our mission.


We treat all people with dignity and respect, and especially sensitive to the most vulnerable among us.


We are committed to excellence and a climate of continuously seeking knowledge and improvement.


We understand our actions make a significant difference in our community.


We tenaciously cling to the truth, so that our actions are honorable.


We make right choices, even if they are not seen as the most popular or expedient.


We are committed to expressing love and compassion to our community and to one another through offering hope, grace ,and humility in every circumstance.

This love is born of faith, which serves as the foundation of all our actions.

What We Do.

Disaster Planning

Business Contiunity Plan

Business Contiunity Plan

Business Continuity


Veteran Engagement

Volunteer Outreach

Volunteer Outreach

Veteran Engagement

Veteran Engagement

Volunteer Outreach

Training Program

Veteran Engagement

VISTA Project

VISTA Project

VISTA Project


The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program

educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community. The program is administered by DHS.

USAonWatch (UOW)-Neighborhood Watch

Business Meeting

Business Continuity Initiative

Image by CDC

Disaster Planning



Young Business Colleagues


After September 11, 2001, America witnessed a wellspring of selflessness and heroism. People in every corner of the country asked, "What can I do?" and "How can I help?" Citizen Corps was created to help all Americans answer these questions through public education and outreach, training, and volunteer service. 


Citizen Corps asks you to embrace the personal responsibility to be prepared; to get training in first aid and emergency skills; and to volunteer to support local emergency responders, disaster relief, developing community action plans, assessing possible threats and identifying local resources.  and community safety.

BRACE has been designated the Citizen Corps Coordinator by Escambia County Emergency Management. In that role BRACE will have a coordinative role for all of the Citizen Corps programs:Programs & Partners

Citizen Corps Councils helps drive local citizen participation by coordinating Citizen Corps programs:

Community Emergency Response Team Program (CERT)

educates people about disaster preparedness and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, and disaster medical operations. Using their training, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event and can take a more active role in preparing their community. The program is administered by DHS.

The Fire Corps

promotes the use of citizen advocates to enhance the capacity of resource-constrained fire and rescue departments at all levels: volunteer, combination, and career. Citizen advocates can assist local fire departments in a range of activities including fire safety outreach, youth programs, and administrative support. Fire Corps provides resources to assist fire and rescue departments in creating opportunities for citizen advocates and promotes citizen participation. Fire Corps is funded through DHS and is managed and implemented through a partnership between the National Volunteer Fire Council, the International Association of Fire Fighters, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

USAonWatch (UOW)-Neighborhood Watch

works to provide information, training and resources to citizens and law enforcement agencies throughout the country. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Neighborhood Watch programs have expanded beyond their traditional crime prevention role to help neighborhoods focus on disaster preparedness, emergency response and terrorism awareness. USAonWatch-Neighborhood Watch is administered by the National Sheriffs' Association in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice.

Image by Ilya Sonin
US Army Soldier in Universal Camouflage

Veteran Engagement

Gardening Together

Youth & Disabilities



BRACE, Escambia County’s designated ESF 15 lead organization for disaster Volunteers and Donations, to monitor community response activities. 

Our objective is to prepare to respond to  evolving emergency and disaster needs. 

All volunteer activity referred through the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) will be coordinated and managed by BRACE. Recognized volunteer groups and unaffiliated volunteers will be referred to BRACE for follow up, placement, and coordination. 


This may be accomplished with the mobilization of a volunteer reception center (VRC) located at Hillcrest Baptist Church and/or volunteer team assignment center (VTAC) as appropriate. 


Volunteers may be assigned tasks based on skillset, training requirements, and current needs with the intent of providing immediate emergency relief.


  • Registered, oriented, deployed and supported 950 volunteers to clean 32 miles of waterways of unnaturally occurring debris in response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

  • Coordinated the efforts of over 1,900 volunteers that provided over 10,000 hours of volunteer service for the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, over a sixty-day period

  • Engaged partners and referred 120 volunteers to assist with the opening and operation of shelters during the 2017 Hurricane Season

  • Coordinated the referral of over 400 volunteers to the American Red Cross to assist with sheltering and feeding for Hurricane Michael

  • Coordinating the engagement of volunteers and voluntary organizations to assist with mobile feeding pantries for the COVID-19 pandemic, that supported the distribution of over 150,000 meals

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Faith-based Community Outreach

The largest resources of disaster recovery assistance in Escambia County are the faith-based organizations. From the smallest to the largest, each works toward the betterment of our community throughout the year.  
The BRACE faith-based initiative also supports interfaith partnership throughout Escambia County. Starting in 2010, led by the co-chairs of our faith-based committee, Jerry Ireland and Diane James, we began hosting cluster meetings of all faith-based organizations within the fire districts of our county. These meetings are intended to improve communication as well as enhance our ability to aid our individual neighborhoods and places of worship effectively and efficiently in times of disaster. 

The BRACE faith-based initiative is focused on reducing duplication of services by maintaining a database that is updated annually.  The database will be used when our community is involved in a disaster event in which the County EOC – Emergency Operation Center is activated.


Database information:

  • current contact information for the organization,

  • what services they may have available to the general public,

  • what time frame after an event they would be able to provide that aid

  • offer space for a distribution site, 

  • provide childcare and shelter services,

  • have a kitchen to serve meals to victims,

  • and others provide teams for debris clean-up and homebound registry support. 

When a call comes to us, we will sort our faith-based database by the service to aid in the community need. The organizations who have reported offering that service will be called , and asked to provide aid if they can. We will record who and where aid was given to reduce the likelihood of duplication of services

Long Term Recovery Group



Case Management






Spiritual & Emotional Care

Policy Advocacy

Public Relations

Needs Assessment

Resource Directory


Due to lack of partners, funding, procedures, forms and collaboration, providing assistance to survivors of Hurricane Ivan was delayed by months

BRACE engaged partners to succeed The Escambia Long Term Recovery Committee to ensure 100 lessons observed to 100 lessons learned that will apply to future disaster recovery.

At the conclusion of the 24 month FEMA housing mission following Hurricane Ivan, 215 families were just days away from becoming homeless. BRACE identified the situation and sought to aid those families. 


Thus, Mission Homeward Bound was developed. 



  • Helped 81 families achieve home ownership, and provided over $1 Million in housing assistance to disaster survivors

  • Spared 146 families from homelessness

  • Partnered with 

    • FEMA, 

    • Escambia County Board of County Commissioners, 

    • Neighborhood Enterprise Foundation, Inc.,

    •  City of Pensacola, 

    • Volunteer Florida Foundation,

    •  and Catholic Charities

  • Notified over 200 partners of this unmet housing need

Man on Wheelchair

Persons with Functional Needs may include, but are not limited to, people who:

- Are limited by one or more disabilities
- Need transportation to evacuate
- Do not speak English as a first language
- Are dependent upon electricity
- Are oxygen-dependent
- Are insulin-dependent
- Need assistance with daily living skills
- Are dependent upon a feeding tube
- Are under regular care of nursing staff
- Are dependent upon a service animal

The Florida Division of Emergency Management has developed disability disaster information that provides preparedness information for persons with disabilities:



57,000 homebound and disabled persons were underserved following

Hurricane Ivan with hundreds calling the Escambia County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in search of food, water and medical care.

To address the needs of these unique populations,


BRACE has:

  • Assembled a committee with 175 current participants dedicated to aiding the homebound 

  • Assembled 37 partner organizations that currently serve the disabled and homebound to coordinate this initiative 

  • Established a portal into a HIPPA-compliant database that identifies the location and needs of individuals unable to care for themselves during an emergency 

  • Developed and enacted plans to locate and register the disabled and functional needs individuals throughout Escambia County for this program 

  • Secured commitments of food, water and other emergency-related resources for the disabled and homebound during times of disaster 

  • Established the "Get-a-Kit/Give-a-Kit" Program that encourages community members to purchase extra disaster supplies to donate to the homebound as they purchase supplies for themselves. 

  • Offered assurance to people with functional needs of our community by providing them with an emergency supply kit, and ensuring that they are not forgotten when a disaster strikes our area. 


Heritage Oaks

Mobile Home & RV Park

Heritage Oaks is operated by BRACE LLC, with oversight from BRACE.  The Mobile Home and RV Park provides mitigated, affordable workforce housing to individuals and families on the Westside of Escambia County.  

BRACE LLC assumed ownership of Heritage Oaks after the former owner and management deserted the community, leaving residents in a state of deprivation of water, sanitation and garbage services so severe that Escambia County Public Safety asked for the support of BRACE to address the emergency faced by the resident families.

Volunteers Serving Food

Join Us!

To be the most disaster -resilient community in America

Our mission is to make our community disaster-resilient through public-private partnerships to educate, train, and engage donors and volunteers.

150 W. Maxwell Street

Pensacola, FL 32501

Phone: 850 -739-3983

Fax: 850 -444-7117

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If you have any questions,

please do not hesitate to send us a message.

We aim to reply within 24-48 hours.

© 2020 by Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies.