As of June 1, 2018, the state of Georgia and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) took over the Re-Entry process. It is the same process for every county in the state of Georgia. For businesses looking to gain access to Chatham County prior to the general population re-entry, please contact 1-800-TRY-GEMA or CLICK HERE to learn more. The green, Chatham County specific passes, no longer work and will not allow you to receive access to the county during an earlier phase. Passes must be requested prior to the onset of a storm and will not likely be granted once a storm is expected.
There are 5 Phases of Re-Entry:
- Render Safe Task Force - This phase is the initial phase of re-entry in which teams from state and local response agencies, as well as private sector utility providers, will gain access to impacted areas. The primary objective of personnel operating in this condition is to render the area safe for first responders who will follow them to conduct life safety operations in Phase 2. Those NOT performing render safe activities are not allowed.
- Emergency Response and Life Safety Workforce - Phase 2 will consist of personnel conducting life safety operations in impacted areas. These operations include, but are not limited to, search and rescue, emergency medical services, fire suppression, hazardous materials control and containment, preliminary damage assessment, essential relief staff to critical medical facilities, and immediate utility restoration to critical incident facilities.
- Essential Public and Private Sector Personnel- Phase 3 will consist primarily of individuals in the public and private sector that can restore essential operations, services and commerce in support of re-entry by the general public. These systems and networks include, but are not limited to, petroleum distributors, food distributors, non-emergency medical facilities (such as dialysis centers), pharmaceutical providers, members of the media, medical facility support staff, and local government essential workers. Validation of issuance of re-entry permits for this phase will require close coordination among state and local emergency management and with local public safety officials to ensure that the appropriate individuals and private sector partners are being allowed to access damaged areas.
- Local Residents, Property Owners and Business Owners- Phase 4 will consist of local residents and those who own property or businesses in the impacted areas. The timeframe of this phase is dependent upon the extent of the damage caused by the hazard and the status of recovery and restoration operations in the preceding phases. During Phase 4 re-entry, access may be limited to certain portions of impacted counties, and restrictions may be in place only allowing access during daylight hours.
- Open to Public, with Limited Access- In Phase 5, local officials will determine that a county or portions of the county are relatively safe for entrance by the general public. Restrictions may remain in place for a period of time limiting access to daylight hours.