Continuity of Operations Planning

An effective Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) outlines the steps you will take in the event of a natural or manmade disaster, to make an orderly and efficient transition to emergency operations while providing instructions on how your organization will continue to fulfill its Critical Functions. Your plan includes information on emergency evacuation procedures, disaster response, and emergency delegation of authority, assignment of responsibilities, assurance of continuity of operations, prevention and preparedness measures as well as lists of external material and technical assistance.

Terminology

  • Business Continuity Plan (BCP) - Typically used in private sector. It refers to the business’s operational plans.
  • Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) - Refers to the operational plan for the resurrection of services after an event.
  • Continuity of Government (COG) - Overall leadership and organizational continuity planning for units of government
  • Critical Functions are the direct services you provide, the cessation of which would immediately affect the safety, health, subsistence, and welfare of your customers, or would have an impact such that your ability operate would be curtailed.

Resources

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Continuity of Operations Programs

The FEMA COOP contains templates and information designed by FEMA for other government agencies but highly recommended: 

  • COOP Self-Assessment Tool (asks many hard questions about your COOP)
  • COOP Plan Template and COOP Plan Template Instructions
  • Pandemic Influenza COOP Annex Template Instructions
  • Vital Records (asks more hard questions about your data)
  • COOP Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Plan
  • Education and training opportunities; self-study, tools for you, resident instruction

American Red Cross

One of the top two or three sources for disaster-tested information on how to prepare yourself and your family to respond and recover from disasters of all types. Here you will find out how to Get prepared; Get Trained; Get involved:

Ready.Gov

Ready.gov is another great source for all types of emergency preparedness information: personal, family, home, shelter design, downloads of free information, and much, much more. There’s even a site for kids! For business, you can find out here how to:

  • Plan to stay in business
  • Protect your investment
  • Talk to your people