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 Disaster Preparedness


The mission of this website is to provide up-to-date information to educators, administrators, parents and students regarding the potential impact of severe weather and/or other disasters on Georgia's education community. The information and links provided here can help Georgia's schools prepare should severe weather and/or other disasters cause the cancellation of classes, the relocation of students or create any other scenario. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.

Hurricane Irma: Information Regarding School Closure Days

September 13, 2017​​​

Dear Superintendents and RESA Directors,

We have received several inquiries regarding school closures as a result of Hurricane Irma especially since the closures are so early in the school year and because some school systems experience school closings as a result of weather events that often occur later in the school year.

All Charter School Systems have waivers from O.C.G.A. 20-2-168 and State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1-.02 School Day and School Year for Students and Employees regarding the number of days and hours of instruction required in a school year. In addition, Strategic Waiver School Systems (SWSS) also have waived these provisions if they included O.C.G.A. 20-2-168 in Exhibit B of their performance contract. Therefore, for Charter Systems and SWSS (that included O.C.G.A. 20-2-168 and State Board of Education Rule 160-5-1-.02), the decision to make-up school days missed for any reason is at the discretion of the superintendent and local boards of education understanding that the student performance accountability terms for each contract remain in place.

School systems that are not operating under a flexibility contract with the State Board of Education and Strategic Waiver School Systems that did not include O.C.G.A. 20-2-168 within Exhibit B of their performance contract shall adhere to the provisions of O.C.G.A. 20-2-168. These provisions indicate, “when the President of the United States proclaims a national emergency or when the Governor proclaims a state of emergency or when, because of emergency, disaster, act of God, civil disturbance, or a shortage of vital and critical material, supplies, or fuel, the continued operation of the public schools according to the definitions of school year, school month, or school day is impractical or impossible, then the state board shall have the power to authorize local boards of education to depart from a strict interpretation of these definitions, and such departure need not be uniform throughout the state.” Additionally, the law further provides, “that a local board may, without necessity of authorization from the state board, elect not to complete, as make-up days, up to four additional days otherwise needed which are the result of days when school was closed due to emergency, disaster, act of God, civil disturbance, or shortage of vital or critical material, supplies, or fuel. In any such case, the school year applicable to that local board of education may terminate, in the discretion of the local board, at the end of the last school day originally designated by the local board as the end of the school year, regardless of the day of the week on which the school calendar was scheduled to end.”  

What this means is that school systems without a performance contract (or a SWSS that did not include the O.C.G.A. 20-2-168 waiver) have four emergency days provided in state statute plus relief for each school day during a declared State of Emergency. If these school systems need to claim the relief from the days covered by the State of Emergency, they must seek a waiver from the State Board of Education

​Please contact us if you have any questions.


Disaster Resources

School Cancellation and Postponement Due to Severe Weather

Enrollment of Displaced Students 

How You Can Help

American Red Cross
Atlanta Chapter
1955 Monroe Drive
Atlanta, GA 30324
Phone: 1-800-435-7669
United Way of Metro Atlanta
Hurricane Relief Fund
100 Edgewood Ave.
Atlanta, GA, 30303

 Contact Information

Districts and Schools
Garry McGiboney, Ph.D.
Deputy Superintendent for External Affairs
Phone: (404) 656-7552

Parents and General Public
AskDOE Help Desk
Phone: (404) 656-2800
Toll Free (GA): (800) 311-3627

Meghan Frick
Interim Director, Communications
Phone: (404) 463-4246
Fax: (404) 656-0966

 Other Agencies