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Three Florida Programs Recognized by FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division

Release date: 
October 26, 2017
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ATLANTA –The community-based coalition Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) and building engineering and design consultant William Bracken are two of the 11 Individual and Community Preparedness Award recipients from around the country, while Janice T. Booher of the Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida (UUJF) advocacy network received Honorable Mention from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

BRACE received the 2017 Awareness to Action Award for spearheading Escambia County’s disaster volunteer and donations programs, and for leading the county’s Long-term Recovery Group, which coordinates assistance to families whose homes were damaged or destroyed during 2014 flooding and 2016 tornadoes. BRACE also received Honorable Mention in the John D. Solomon Whole Community Preparedness category.

William Bracken of Tampa-based Bracken Engineering received the 2017 Outstanding Private Sector Initiative Award for having his engineering staff become certified “second responders,” able to assist local building departments and first responders in disaster response activities involving building collapses. In addition, the entire Bracken Engineering staff was trained in basic first aid and CPR.

Janice T. Booher received Honorable Mention in the Community Preparedness Champions category for leading Rising Together: Temperature, Water, Health and Strength, a tri-lingual outreach project that provided preparedness information to low-income, limited English proficiency households in Naples and West Palm Beach.

“This particularly devastating hurricane season underscores the importance of grassroots efforts that bring the entire community together to create a culture of preparedness,” said FEMA Region IV Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech. “FEMA is proud to tout the great efforts of these Florida organizations and individuals who are working to transform their community’s resiliency.”

FEMA will host a webinar on Tuesday, Oct. 31, at 2 p.m. EST with BRACE, William Bracken and the other award winners, who will share best practices in creating successful preparedness initiatives. To register for this free event, visit Closed captioning will be provided.

Emergency management is most effective when the whole community is engaged and involved. Faith-based organizations, service agencies, businesses and associations, tribal organizations, youth and older Americans, and people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, can make a real difference in their communities before, during, and after disasters. Each year, FEMA honors individuals and organizations who excel at inspiring the public to be ready if a tornado, hurricane, wildfire, or other disaster were to strike their community.

Visit for more information and to see the additional 2017 award recipients.


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.


Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 11:58