CHHS Leads First Summit in DC Aimed at Keeping City Agencies Operational Following an Emergency
On January 13th, CHHS teamed up with the District of Columbia's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency to host the city's first Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning Summit.
A COOP plan is designed to ensure that a governmental agency can continue its most essential functions following a man-made or natural emergency.
DC Mayor Vincent Gray's office wants every cabinet-level agency to have a COOP plan. Across the spectrum of DC agencies, there are varying levels of COOP preparedness. This summit was intended to jumpstart the process for completing plans for all of the agencies. More than 100 participants, including DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Fire/EMS Chief Kenneth B. Ellerbe, gathered at the Department of Employment Services building in Northeast D.C. to get an overview of what a COOP plan should include.
Following keynote addresses from HSEMA Director Millicent West and Deputy Mayor Paul Quander, CHHS staff members Eric Oddo and Markus Rauschecker led presentations and exercises meant to educate agency leaders on COOP and have them brainstorm about ways to either improve current plans or formulate one for the first time.
The day consisted of two major components. The morning featured a lecture-based presentation that gave participants a general overview of the major elements that go into the development, implementation and exercising of a complete and comprehensive COOP Plan. Those elements are Essential Functions, Human Capital Management and Key Personnel, Delegations of Authority and Orders of Succession, Vital Records and Vital Equipment, Communications, Alternate Facilities, Reconstitution and Devolution, and Training, Exercises and Evaluation.
The latter half of the day was a cooperative work session in which the room was divided into two groups: 1) agencies that were developing a COOP plan from scratch, and 2) agencies that already had a COOP plan in place and were looking to refine and correct any gaps, weaknesses or deficiencies. Going forward, CHHS will consult with any DC agency that requests our services in providing COOP guidance wherever needed.