FSAE Joins REBUILD 850 to Help Panhandle Recovery Effort 
and Keep Region’s Needs “Front and Center”

Rebuild 850

In November, the FSAE Board of Directors approved the association to join REBUILD 850, an initiative to help areas of the Florida panhandle affected by Hurricane Michael. REBUILD 850 was recently launched by former Florida House Speakers Allan Bense and Will Weatherford to keep the continuing needs of communities in Florida’s Panhandle “front and center” and coordinate efforts for donations, volunteering and investing in the region.

“Associations are about building communities, and right now our communities are in dire need due to Hurricane Michael,” said FSAE Chair Rachel Luoma, CAE. “While we are hearing stories of loss and grief, we are also learning about stories of hope, support and solidarity in the wake of this devastation. This is a testament to the power that associations have when working together. Recovery is long from over, and we hope that the efforts of REBUILD 850 and Florida’s associations can help provide the much-needed resources and support.”

REBUILD 850’s dual objectives are to help residents of areas devastated by the power of Michael while promoting commerce in communities – ranging from Panama City Beach to Pensacola – that escaped the worst of the storm’s wrath and remain open for business. All funds will flow through the nonprofit Volunteer Florida Foundation.

When Hurricane Michael made landfall on Oct. 10, it was the strongest storm to ever hit the Florida Panhandle, with wind speeds of up to 155 mph. The storm moved quickly, prompting the evacuation of 140,000 people just one day after reaching hurricane status, leaving 45 dead -- 35 in Florida -- and destroying whole towns. But the recovery from Michael will be anything but fast, with damages estimated at $4.5 billion.

Several FSAE member organizations have also signed on to support the recovery campaign, including Visit Florida, the Florida Chamber, the Florida League of Cities, the Florida Association of Counties, and the Florida Press Association – joining other influential associations and non-profits like the Volunteer Florida, Florida Association of District School Superintendents, United Way of Florida, the American Red Cross, and Get Ready, Florida! & FAIR Foundation.

REBUILD 850 partners

Learn More about REBUILD 850


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