Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning

Why have a COOP plan?

Imagine if you came to work on Monday and found an emergency, such as fire or flood, occurred over the weekend rendering your building unable to be occupied. What do you do? Where would you go? Who's in charge? How do you let others know what happened?

A Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan clearly outlines the contingency measures a campus department/unit has in place so their mission essential functions continue with minimal interruption, despite major loss of personnel, primary facilities or other operations becoming unusable for long or short periods of time.

The UW-Stevens Point Campus Overall Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan establishes guidance for the methods, procedures and protocols that the University uses to recover and restore performance of the campus' primary mission essential functions that may be disrupted by man-made or natural disasers.

graphic illustrating the component of a continuity of operations plan

Components of a Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan

  • Essential functions and key personnel

  • Vital records, systems, and equipment

  • Alternate work sites

  • Communications

  • Training, testing, and exercises

 COOP Planning Basics

A Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan outlines the department/unit's primary mission essential functions and includes the following key components...

What is a Primary Mission Essential Function (PMEF)?

Primary Mission Essential Functions (PMEFs) need to be continuous or resumed within 12 hours after an event and maintained for up to 30 days or until normal operations can be resumed.

Key components of a COOP Plan

  1. Clearly Outlined Essential Functions and Key Personnel - What primary mission essential functions does your department provide to campus? Who is responsible for overseeing these functions?

  2. Order of Succession and Delegation of Authority - Make sure to include delegations of authority and an order of succession for key personnel/positions.

  3. Alternate Work Site - Identify ahead of time a specific location on campus where your department can relocate to if your primary location is not available.

  4. Vital Records, Systems and Equipment - If you evacuate your office - taking nothing with you - would you still be ableto perform your mission essential functions? Maintain a list of your department's vital records, systems and equipment.

  5. Communications - How will you communicate to your employees and campus that you have relocated? How will they be notified of any changes in your status?

  6. Training, Testing and Exercises - Annually conduct COOP training and test your COOP plan. Make revisions to the plan accordingly.

 UW-Stevens Point COOP Planning

UW-Stevens Point conducts COOP planning to ensure the continued performance of mission essential functions during recovery from a wide range of potential campus emergencies. Campus department and unit-specific COOP plans identify campus primary mission essential functions (those that cannot be interrupted at all or for no more than 12 hours) and the activities the units will take to ensure their essential functions are performed with minimal interruption.

How can my department get started?

For your assistance, Emergency Management can provide you with a COOP plan template and instructions. Emergency Management also organizes campus COOP planning workshops and training.

Contact the UW-Stevens Point's Emergency Management Specialist for more information.

 Teaching Continuity of Operations

The Center for Inclusive Teaching and Learning (CITL) has continuity of teaching resources available for faculty and instructors HERE.

 Training

Want to learn more about COOP planning?...

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) offers the following free online courses in continuity planning:

IS-1300: Introduction to Continuity of Operations

FEMA Continuity Excellence Series - Professional and Master Practitioner Continuity Certificate Programs

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers the following free online course:

In Case of Emergencies: Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning (for libraries)

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Page Last Reviewed: March 23, 2020

Page Last Updated: March 23, 2020