Continuity of Operations Planning


A Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan, as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the National Continuity Policy Implementation Plan (NCPIP) and the National Security Presidential Directive 51/ Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20 (NSPD-51 / HSPD-20), is an effort within individual executive departments and agencies to ensure that daily operations are performed and continued during an emergency and/or disaster. FEMA has provided an overview of a Continuity of Operations Plan and why it is important.

Why is a COOP plan necessary?

  • To identify essential functions.
  • Ensure those essential functions can be continued throughout, or resumed after, a disruption of normal operations. 
  • To identify essential personnel and make them aware that they are essential prior to an emergency and/or disaster.
  • To create a plan for succession of administration prior to an emergency and/or disaster.
  • To pre-determine the delegations of authority for making determinations and/or decisions prior to an emergency and/or disaster.
  • To identify locations, other than the primary facility, that will be used to carry out essential functions prior to an emergency and/or disaster.
  • To identify communications that provide the ability to perform essential functions in coordination with other agencies under all conditions.
  • To identify, protect, and make readily available of electronic and hard copy documents, references, records, information systems, and equipment needed to support essential functions prior to an emergency and/or disaster.

COOP Template
FEMA has provided a template with instructions, guidance, and sample text for the development of a COOP Plan. The guidance in this template applies to all State, territorial, tribal, and Local government jurisdictions. The private sector and other non-government organizations may also benefit from the use of this template.

Access the 2018 FEMA COOP Template


Brochures and Templates

Continuity Resource Toolkit

Continuity Resources and Technical Assistance