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Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)

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COOP Terms and Definitions

A water leak in a library, a tornado ripping through a fire station, a flood at a public garage facility - these are real-life examples of an impact to public services.  Getting these services back up and running after a crisis is the purpose of a continuity of operations plan (COOP).

There are several pieces that form a COOP plan:

  • Download list of COOP terms
  • Delegations of Authority - personnel who can assume specific capabilities and authorities in the absence of identified leaders and assistants
    • Let's say the Director, Assistant Director, and senior Division Head are gone and cannot make decisions in person, by phone, or by email.  In an emergency, who are the next two or three personnel who can take over and sign official documents
  • Orders of Succession - personnel who can assume the title of the leader; who comes next in the chain of command
    • Examples include the Director (primary), Assistant (1st alternate), and Division Team Leader (3rd alternate)
    • Several alternates can be identified and must be included in ability to make official decisions (receive training, signatures on file, and the like)
  • Facilities, Primary and Alternate - the primary place of business, and a pre-planned alternate location(s)
  • Mission Essential Functions (aka - Essential Functions) - tasks and mission responsibilities required for normal, day-to-day operations
  • Vital Records and Resources
    • Records are operation documents, maps, manuals, checklists, and additional key materials that are needed for normal operations
    • Resources include equipment, software programs, tools, and the like
      • Example - ID cards are vital resources (unable to enter building or secure areas without it)
  • Alert Notification Procedures - methods of how to communicate with staff who are away from the office
  • Communication Tools and Systems - items needed to perform communications, such as telephone lists, Rochester Alert notification groups, email, phones, and the like
    • GETS cards are an example of a communications tool
  • Drive Away Kits (aka, Go Kits) - physical or virtual box or container with essential items
    • Pre-filled and kept on-site
    • Pre-filled but kept off-site (secure area, not easily accessible by non-city staff)
    • Electronic or virtual kits kept off-network
  • Teams - pre-identified personnel who support the COOP response/recovery effort
    • Examples include IT staff, key department members, department COOP planners, vendors, and facility managers