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 "What is COOP?" or "What is Continuity of Operations?" ​

What is Continuity of Operations?
•Continuity of Operations (COOP) is an effort within individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that essential functions continue to be performed during disasters or disastrous events.
 
Why is Continuity Planning Important?
•Ensures the continuity of essential functions across a wide range of emergencies and events.
•Enables organizations to continue the functions on which their customers depend

When are Continuity Plans Implemented?
•The plan can be put to use in response to a wide range of events or scenarios, from a fire, to a terrorist attack
•Any event that makes it impossible for employees to work in their regular capacities.

In 2009, the State of Nevada began Continuity of Operations Planning as part of grant funding through the Nevada Division of Emergency Management & Homeland Security.

Since then, there are about 25 jurisdictions with COOP plans that are actively being updated and used in the online COOP planning system designed specifically for Nevada.  

The training has prepared many agencies and organizations throughout Nevada and covers many aspects of continuity of operations in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Our state has done some excellent planning.  In a recent document published by FEMA, our state's preparedness was acknowledged.

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Continuity of Operations and Continuity
of Government Planning
Statewide Planning within Nevada

Page 38.
​The State of Nevada and localities, tribes, and other stakeholders developed a multi-year initiative to develop and update continuity of operations and continuity of government plans and successfully used Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funds to assist implementation.

The Nevada State Homeland Security Strategy identified continuity of operations and continuity of government planning as one of the top three areas of focus when the initiative began. Nevada State law further governs continuity planning within the State by requiring “plans for the continuity of the operations and services of the political subdivision, which plans must be consistent with the provisions of Nevada Revised Statute 239c.260.”

In an effort to increase continuity capabilities statewide, a project team developed a multi-year project plan to enhance continuity planning and integrate into existing efforts throughout the State and sustain these efforts in future years. The Nevada Commission on Homeland Security approved the use of HSGP funds to support these efforts. The team developed a continuity task force, comprised of state, local, and tribal government representatives, volunteer agencies, and the private sector, to serve as a steering committee for the effort.

In the first year of the project, the team focused on continuity planning efforts for six counties in the northern part of the state. Subsequent grant cycles enabled extension of the planning effort to the remaining southern and eastern counties while sustaining previous efforts. The HSGP funding used in support of this effort funded task force meetings, planning efforts, and a series of training workshops and resulted in viable continuity plans and templates for jurisdictions throughout the state. In addition, by coordinating participation throughout the State under the limited timeframe of grant funding, the project enabled a cooperative and collaborative approach to continuity planning that leveraged best practices, lessons learned, and shared experiences.

(Note: Our thanks to the State of Nevada; Washoe County, Nevada Emergency Management; and the City of Las Vegas Emergency Management for providing the data used in this case study.) 
 

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FEMA Resource Document

Conditions in which the Continuity Plan May Be Activated

The COOP plan could be activated in response to a wide range of events or situations – from a natural disaster to a terrorist attack. Any event that makes it impossible for employees to work in their regular facility could result in the activation of the Continuity plan.
 
"Continuity planning is simply the good business practice of ensuring the execution of essential functions through all circumstances, and it is a fundamental responsibility of public and private entities responsible to their stakeholders."
 
Courtesy of FEMA.gov