During a disaster or unplanned event (power outage, water pipe break) a business/organization's ability to keep performing their essential functions may be significantly impacted.
Business closures can result in financial losses and delay of work. Government departments and agencies are no exception. They have a responsibility to operate in a prudent and efficient manner while also assuring the safety of each employee. Governmental entities need to maintain operations during a forecasted threat and reopen following a disaster, as soon as it is safe to do so.
Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) enables an organization to scale down to just the essential functions necessary to keep it running during and after an emergency or disaster. All COOP plans should outline general guidance for altered operational procedures, personnel policies, and sustainment of up to five essential functions.
There are at least 8 elements that a proper COOP Plan should identify:
A business or agency must be able to activate its COOP plan within 12 hours and should be able to use it for up to 30 days. For government agencies, if the disruption is expected to last more than 30 days, a Continuity of Government (COG) plan should be used. A COG plan outlines operational procedures and a definition of core functions.
The impact of an individual emergency cannot be predicted; however, planning for basic and essential needs ahead of time can lessen or eliminate any interruption in services.
For additional tips on writing a COOP Plan, click here.