GEMA/HS Unveils New Program to Help Schools Improve Security
(ATLANTA) – The Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) has started a new program to help schools identify vulnerabilities at their facilities and improve their level of safety.
The Site Threat Access and Response (STAR) Audit is designed to give requesting entities a fair and unbiased evaluation of physical security measures and threat response protocols. Conducted by the Homeland Security Division of GEMA/HS, STAR Audits may be requested by an authorized party of any entity.
A pilot program of the STAR Audit was conducted for Brooks County Public Schools. Observers representing GEMA/HS, Brooks County Public Schools and the Brooks County Emergency Management Agency were able to watch the Audit as it progressed via livestream from the Brooks County Emergency Operations Center.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Brooks County Schools for giving us an opportunity to demonstrate how the Audit can work on this level,” said GEMA/HS Homeland Security Coordinator Casey Cope. “It’s because they were willing to try it and see how it worked for them that we’re able to offer this service to the state as a whole.”
To request an audit, facilities can contact their local area Homeland Security Coordinator. Contact information for Coordinators can be found on the GEMA/HS website at www.gema.georgia.gov/locations.
As part of the Office of the Governor, the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency collaborates with local, state and federal governments in partnership with private sector and non-governmental organizations to protect life and property against man-made and natural emergencies. GEMA/HS’s Ready Georgia website and preparedness campaign provides Georgians with the knowledge needed to effectively prepare for disasters. Go to gema.georgia.gov/plan-prepare/ready-georgia for information on developing a custom emergency plan and Ready kit.