Continuation of Operations (COOP)

21CLETS

Does your department know what to do for extended operations?

Earthquakes, Fires, Floods, Power Outages, and Droughts?

When a wildfire strikes from a lightning storm?

Emergency management plans help us to know how to respond to specific emergencies and follow the proper procedures and policies to respond to them. But what about if your agency loses the ability to work out of their normal office or executives and managers are unavailable to assist in response, what will you do then?

If your department has a Continuity of Operations Plan, you’ll know. Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) help your agency know what critical operations and critical people are needed to continue responding in a disaster and how to safeguard them from danger and mitigate redundant operations. They are different from Emergency Response Plans (ERP) in that ERP’s focus on a response to a disaster, i.e What steps to take when an earthquake happens. COOP helps us know that the important departments need to stay up and running in an earthquake, which people to contact (and more importantly, who their backups are if they are unavailable), and which building is your alternate emergency operations center. 

A department ERP and COOP can run parallel during the response. Continuity of Operations Plans are vital for every agency and department. Templates exist on how to create a COOP that are a great starting point for emergency managers tasked with creating one. Many times, the information you are looking for has already been compiled in one policy or another. COOP plans are vital to your department and if you are looking for any assistance in creating or updating your agency’s COOP, please contact 21 CLETS. We can also help you develop yours through our upcoming class Continuation of Operations on December 6, 2021. 

Ed Colson, Ready Northwest

Author