Hurricane season is underway, and Camden County leaders, along with state officials, are streamlining and updating many plans after learning many lessons from back to back storms in 2016 and 2017.

The Camden County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is implementing the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency’s (GEMA/HS) new statewide re-entry system and certification process. The new re-entry system and process for certification are for essential response personnel seeking access to a restricted area following a disaster in Georgia.

“Quick re-entry of emergency response and essential personnel allows an affected area to begin the process of getting running again by ensuring access to necessary services,” said GEMA/HS Director Homer Bryson.

“Our experience with the evacuations during Hurricanes Matthew and Irma have reconfirmed the importance of an orderly re-entry process,” said Camden County EMA Director Chuck White. “We want to make sure that Camden County is safe, first and foremost, before our residents return home.”

Phase 1 is the initial phase of re-entry. During this phase, teams from state and local response agencies, as well as private sector utility providers, will gain access to impacted areas. The primary objective of operating personnel during this phase is to render the area safe for the first responders who will follow them to conduct life safety operation.
Under the new process for re-entry, permits will be issued by GEMA/HS and only for re-entry phases 2 and 3. Organizations, businesses, and non-profits wishing to seek re-entry access are now required to apply through the state, rather than local emergency management agencies.

Personnel entering a restricted area should be prepared to present a State of Georgia Disaster Re-Entry Permit, employee credentials (marked vehicle, company badge, etc.), and a valid government-issued identification card. Contractors are also required to present an employer authorization letter.

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