COOP Planning – Spring/Summer 2013

CHHS Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning Projects


The training course titled “MGT-333, Preparing the States: Implementing Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning” continues to be one of the longest-running and most successful services that CHHS provides. The DHS-certified, two-day management-level training course is designed to provide state, local, tribal, and territorial government participants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to design comprehensive COOP plans for their individual agencies.

Throughout the fall and winter
of 2012 and 2013, Senior Law & Policy Analyst Michael Vesely, Senior Policy Analysts Eric Oddo and Vernon Herron, and Associate Director Megan Timmins, officially certified over 200 participants in the following locations throughout the country: New York, NY; Frankfort, KY; Dover, DE; Fayetteville, NC; Sacramento, CA; Warwick, RI; Atlanta, GA; and Bremerton, WA.
A full slate of course deliveries is scheduled for the spring and summer of 2013. Locations include: Olympia, WA; Moorehead, KY; New York, NY; Hopkinsville, KY; Dover, DE; Atlanta, GA; and Silverado, CA.

In compliance with recent FEMA guidance, CHHS staffers conducted a thorough technical analysis of course materials in January 2013 to ensure that all text, fonts, images, and formatting are fully conducive to participants with functional needs, such as visual impairments.


CHHS continues to partner with the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) in its efforts to ensure that all District agencies have viable Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans.

In January 2013, Project Lead Eric Oddo submitted a report to D.C.’s Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice that provided a comprehensive analysis of the past, present, and future of COOP planning within the District. The report detailed a historical background, program accomplishments, shortfalls, lessons learned, and projections for the 2013 program. Two major goals for 2013 are: (1) continuing to facilitate tabletop exercises for District agencies, which will serve
to identify any gaps, weaknesses, 
or deficiencies in the COOP 
plans against the backdrop of a hypothetical emergency scenario, and (2) standardizing and streamlining the alternate facility identification process via a cooperative effort with the Departments of General Services and Risk Management.

On February 13, 2013, Mr. Oddo conducted a presentation on Business Continuity Planning (BCP), the private sector equivalent of COOP planning, at a seminar hosted by the Applied Science Foundation of Homeland Security. The seminar, entitled “Preparing for Disaster: What Your Business Needs To Know,” demonstrates the District’s continuing commitment to engaging the private sector within the context of emergency preparedness. The number of interdependencies between public, private, and non-profit organizations are virtually endless; thus, it is imperative that all entities have viable continuity plans in place to ensure that business operations can continue post-emergency event.


Since October 2012, Senior Policy Analyst Eric Oddo and Policy Analyst Lisa Crow have been responsible for facilitating Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning for the Animal Care Program of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The methodology laid out in Federal Continuity Directive (FCD) 2 is the framework upon which this project is based. Phase
1 focuses on establishing which Essential Supporting Activities (ESAs) performed by Animal
Care must be carried out in a 30-day post-emergency period in order for the Mission Essential Functions (MEFs) of APHIS to be seamlessly executed. Phase 2 is the Business Process Analysis, in which each function is systematically broken down and analyzed to determine personnel, facility, and resource requirements.

Mr. Oddo and Ms. Crow have been continuously planning and administering trainings, briefings, and interactive workshops between all geographical entities of this nation-wide organization: its headquarters in Riverdale Park, MD; the Eastern Regional Office in Raleigh, NC; the Western Regional Office in Fort Collins, CO; and the Center for Animal Welfare in Kansas City, MO.

In March, the Animal Care program took part in an APHIS-wide COOP workshop, in which the information and data collected over the course of this project will be integrated into the overall fabric and resiliency of the entire agency.

This text was taken from the Spring & Summer 2013 Newsletter.

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