Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies

Ten months after work began, Pensacola’s Habitat for Humanity is winding up construction of 16 news homes in Century, replacing some that were leveled by a tornado in February, 2016.

When Habitat Director Tim Evans and his team first got to Century, the one prevailing question was – where to start?

“That is exactly it – it’s just heartbreaking when we first got to the community,” said Evans. “Seeing the amount of damage and so much total destruction on so many homes; it really was kind of tough deciding how to begin.”

Dave Dunwoody, WUWF Public Media

The University of West Florida is playing host this weekend to an exercise by local emergency response organizations, which is aimed at beefing up community resilience.

Santa Rosa County Emergency Management is teaming up with SAFER – the Support Alliance for Emergency Readiness, and BRACE – the Be Ready Agency Coordinating for Emergencies.

“The Advanced Citizen Corps Academy started years and years ago, when we had excess grant money at the state level, and they asked if anybody wanted to do anything with it,” said SAFER Administrator Daniel Hahn.

Work begins Monday on developing a waiting list for residents in Century needing housing repair or reconstruction assistance as a result of the February 15 tornado.

The twister, an EF-3 with 155 mph winds, destroyed or damaged more than 150 homes in Century. Among them was the wood frame house owned by Doug Lewis and his family, where they’d lived for more than 40 years.

Photo courtesy of

Helping hands are busy in Century, for residents impacted by Monday’s EF-3 tornado.

A steady stream of people have been coming into the Century Community Center to register with the American Red Cross. Among them is Doug Lewis; he and his wife Shirley lost their wood frame house where they’ve lived for 44 years.

“And I saw it coming, and I hollered, said ‘Get in the hallway’ and that’s where we stood,” said Lewis. “And from the time I left the dining room window until we got into the hallway it seemed like only five minutes – then it was all over.”

World Renew

It's been four months since the floods and there are still people in the region looking for help to recover. BRACE, the Be Ready Alliance Coordinating for Emergencies is hosting a national disaster recovery group to help find some of those people. Greg Strader is the Executive Director of BRACE says many of the people who still need help are living in low income housing and may not have been aware of the assistance available.

Bob Barrett / WUWF News

The threat of thunderstorms kept the early morning crowds light but over a dozen service organizations and agencies set up at Community Maritime Park Saturday morning for the first annual Hurricane-Disaster Preparedness Day.

Department of Homeland Security

More than two dozen areas businesses and organizations will experience what it's like to have a killer invade them on Wednesday. The killer will be a disgruntled former employee with a gun.  Actually, it will be a digital disgruntled former employee with a gun.  It's part of an exercise designed to help companies develop a plan in the event of a real emergency.  Chris Floyd, with the Disaster Assistance Communities Group says almost 30 companies have signed up to participate in the exercise so far.