Category Archives: Notices

Deal Expands State of Emergency for 64 Additional Counties

Following a recommendation from Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA/HS) officials ahead of Hurricane Irma’s imminent landfall, Gov. Nathan Deal today expanded the state of emergency to include a total of 94 counties. In light of the storm’s forecasted track shifting west, which will bring hurricane force winds, rain and potential flooding, 64 additional counties are now under the emergency declaration. Mandatory evacuations for coastal areas east of I-95 and all of Chatham County remain in place and contraflow on I-16 will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday.

The additional counties include: Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brooks, Calhoun, Chattahoochee, Clay, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Harris, Houston, Irwin, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pike, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Washington, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth Counties.

A state of emergency now exists in the following 94 counties: Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Baldwin, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Bleckley, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Calhoun, Camden, Candler, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Effingham, Emanuel, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Harris, Houston, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Jefferson, Jenkins, Johnson, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McIntosh, Meriwether, Miller, Mitchell, Monroe, Montgomery, Muscogee, Peach, Pierce, Pike, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Schley, Screven, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Talbot, Tattnall, Taylor, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Treutlen, Troup, Turner, Twiggs, Upson, Ware, Washington, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox, Wilkinson and Worth Counties.

Read the executive order here.

PRICE GOUGING

During a declared state of emergency, Georgia law prohibits businesses from taking advantage of the situation to engage in price gouging. Accordingly, Governor Nathan Deal enacted price gouging controls throughout the State of Georgia. The Executive Order, including the enacted price control restrictions, is in force beginning at 2:30 PM on Wednesday, September 6th, and ending at 11:59 PM on September 27, 2017.

If you feel that you may have been the victim of a scam or price gouging contact the Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit at 1-800-869-1123 toll-free outside of the metro Atlanta calling area, or call 404-651-8600 inside the metro Atlanta area. You can also make a written report here.

For more information and resources on evacuation routes, shelters and hurricane preparedness, visit www.gema.ga.gov or 1-800-TRY-GEMA.

Kemp Reminds Georgians To Avoid Disaster Relief Scams

ATLANTA, GA – Today Secretary of State Brian Kemp reminds Georgians to remain vigilant for scam disaster relief charities for Hurricane Harvey victims. Kemp strongly advises potential donors to research the organizations seeking donations to aid displaced individuals and repair physical damage caused by the recent storm.

“I am advising all potential donors to research any organization seeking funds for victims impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” stated Secretary Kemp. “Unfortunately, the circumstances are ripe for bad actors to abuse Georgians’ urgent desire to help their fellow man in time of need.”

The Charities Division encourages Georgians to contact division staff if they receive suspicious charitable solicitations. To report suspicious activity, call (404) 654-6023. You can also email charities@sos.ga.gov to submit a complaint.

“Charitable giving is the lifeblood of many vital activities in our communities. To sustain this level of giving, donors must be confident that their funds are solicited honestly and used for the promised charitable purposes,” said Kemp. “I remain dedicated to coordinating our efforts with federal agencies, state officials, and charity regulators to put an end to this egregious misconduct. We will not sit idly by while bad actors work to defraud members of the public and rob legitimate charities of much needed support.”

Secretary Kemp issued the following tips for charitable giving:

– Research charities before you contribute. A number of online resources can help you research charities. The Better Business Bureau, the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar, Charity Navigator, and Charity Watch provide detailed information about non-profit organizations. Also, take time to review the organization’s own website.

– Take the time to make sure that your money is really going to help those in need. Ask how much of your donation will go to the cause.  The percentage of your contribution that a charity spends on fundraising activities, employee salaries, or expenses which do not directly support the charity’s stated mission varies greatly by organization.

– Be wary of telephone solicitors asking for contributions. If you are solicited by phone, ask the individual to put the request in writing and provide detailed information and material about the charity and its program. Also, ask if the person conducting the solicitation is a volunteer or a paid fundraiser for that charity.

– Never give your credit card, debit card, or bank account information to a telephone solicitor. Be particularly cautious of couriers willing to rush out to your home or business to pick up your contribution.  Avoid sending cash donations. Donate by credit card or check directly to the charity.  Do not make payments to individuals. If your contribution exceeds $250, you should receive a letter from the charity confirming its charitable status as well as the amount of your donation.

– If a tax deduction is important to you, make sure the organization has a tax-deductible status with the Internal Revenue Service. “Tax exempt,” “non-profit”, and “tax-deductible” are not synonymous. Only “tax-deductible” means your contribution is deductible on your income tax return. If you contribute to a charity, make sure you get a receipt which shows the amount of your contribution and states that the contribution is tax-deductible. The IRS has a searchable database (“Exempt Organizations Check”) of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.

– Not all organizations with charitable-sounding names are actually charities. Many organizations adopt names confusingly similar to well-known charities. Be sure you know exactly who is asking for your contribution. Sites like Charity Navigator can provide you a list of a charities that have a history of working on massive disasters.

Brian Kemp has been Secretary of State since January 2010. Among the office’s wide-ranging responsibilities, the Secretary of State is charged with conducting secure, accessible, and fair elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities, charities, and professional license holders.  For more information about the office, go to www.sos.ga.gov or follow Secretary Kemp on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube.

Warning For Scam by GDOT Employee Impersonators

ATLANTA – Georgia DOT has received reports from Georgia citizens indicating they have been called by an individual claiming to be a DOT employee who threatened to take action against their driver’s license if they did not pay fines over the phone. The scammers claim that the driver was seen by Georgia DOT traffic cameras crossing the double line to enter or exit the HOV lanes and ask for credit card information to pay for the fines that have been issued.

In an effort to help prevent Georgia drivers from becoming fraud victims, please note the following:

  • Georgia DOT does not issue traffic citations or fines.
  • Georgia DOT does not solicit credit card information.
  • Georgia DOT traffic cameras are not able to see or read license plates nor do they record or save traffic footage.
  • Citizens should not provide financial information over the phone unless they initiated the conversation.

If you have received or receive a call of this nature in the future, please do not share any information and report it to the Federal Trade Commission as an imposter scam as soon as possible at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#&panel1-1.