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      Georgia receives National Emergency Management reaccreditation

      Gov. Nathan Deal announced today the reaccreditation of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security by the National Emergency Management Accreditation Program. / File

      Gov. Nathan Deal announced today the reaccreditation of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security by the National Emergency Management Accreditation Program. The reaccreditation signifies that GEMA meets or exceeds standards for emergency management and response preparedness.

      "We are pleased with the efforts of GEMA and their sister state agencies, as well as our local partners," said Deal. "By meeting all of the stringent national emergency management program standards, Georgia demonstrates its leadership in emergency preparedness efforts."

      The recognition places Georgia in an elite group. Of the 30 states accredited, Georgia is one of only 13 to be reaccredited. GEMA's initial accreditation date was Nov. 28, 2007. By maintaining accredited status since then, GEMA proved that it consistently attests to the nationally recognized Emergency Management Standard, resulting in its reaccreditation award this year.

      "EMAP accreditation reflects the highest standard in state and local emergency preparedness," said GEMA/Homeland Security Director Charley English. "We appreciate this recognition and will continue to work with our local partners in providing the highest level of service to our citizens."

      EMAP is a voluntary accreditation process for state, territorial and local government programs that coordinate preparedness and response activities for natural and man-made disasters ranging from tornadoes to terrorism. It recognizes the ability of a state or local government to bring together personnel, resources and communications from a variety of agencies and organizations in preparation for and in response to an emergency.

      GEMA was the lead agency responsible ensuring the state's accreditation, which is a means of demonstrating through program examination, documentation and on-site assessment by an independent team that a program meets national standards. To comply, GEMA met stringent criteria and went through a rigorous yearlong program of evaluation, documentation and review.

      The EMAP process evaluates emergency management programs on compliance with 64 national standards in 16 functional areas, including: planning; resource management; training; exercises; evaluations and corrective actions; and communications and warning.

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