Overview Community Partner Initiative

Be Ready Alliance Coordinating For Emergencies (BRACE) undertook a unique community partnership building initiative with the goal of enhancing disaster readiness and response capabilities of community and faith based organizations as well as businesses throughout Florida’s northern Gulf Coast counties.

Between October 2011 and November 2012 the Community Partner Initiative worked with county emergency management departments and numerous other agencies and organizations to strengthen relationships and disaster preparedness, response and recovery capabilities in the following counties:


Bay County Franklin County Gulf County Okaloosa County Wakulla County Walton County


Initiative Goals / Objectives

Community Partner InitiativeThe primary goal of the initiative was to enhance each county’s disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation capabilities by thoroughly engaging community and faith based organizations along with the business community as participants in a countywide Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) or Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD) structure.

  1. Community Partner Identification: Develop a comprehensive listing of community and faith based organizations along with business within each county that could assist in times of emergencies or disasters.
  2. Resource Identification: While identifying community partners develop an inventory of any resources that could be accessed during emergencies or disasters.
  3. COOP Exercise: Facilitate a series of continuity of operations exercises designed to help organizations and businesses strengthen their capability to survive a hurricane and remain operational to support the disaster caused needs of county residents.
  4. Best Practices: Identify best practices that are currently being implemented by community partners.
  5. Partnership Enhancement Exercise: Participate in a hurricane exercise as a member of each county’s VOAD / COAD to measure the capabilities of community and faith-based organizations along with businesses working together to meet the needs of disaster survivors.
  6. Training: Determine the training needs of each county then schedule and facilitate the identified training.

 A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management

FEMA’s “A Whole Community Approach to Emergency Management: Principles, Themes and Pathways for Action” presents a foundation for increasing individual preparedness and engaging community partners in a collaborative effort to enhance the resiliency and security of our Nation through a Whole Community approach.

 Formidable Footprint – A National Community / Neighborhood Exercise Series

Formidable Footprint Exercise

As part of the Community Partner Initiative the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies (BRACE) provided and an opportunity for neighborhood, community and faith based organizations to participate in the Formidable Footprint series of exercises at NO CHARGE.

 Formidable Footprint Exercise Scenarios
Flood Hurricane Influenza Pandemic Tornado Wildfire

This series of exercises serves as an opportunity for organizations along with governmental agencies to assess their capability to prepare for, respond to and recover from a variety of natural disasters which affect communities and neighborhoods across the United States.

For additional information on this nationwide series of exercises access: www.FormidableFootprint.org