A compilation of necessary elements for a local government continuity of operations plan
Cashen, Kevin M.
Gordon, Ellen M.
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National and state homeland security strategies call for continuity of operations plan development. The 2006 Nationwide Plan Review Phase II Report identifies continuity of operations plan development as a state and local goal with a federal goal of providing continuity of operations plan development support. Most local governments do not have a continuity of operation plan or it needs to be updated. Continuity of operations plan guidance is provided by a variety of international, federal, state and local documents. Common, unique and best practice elements are identified and should be contained in a continuity of operations plan. An identified compilation of continuity of operation elements is presented. Planning templates are good for COOP document structure and should contain the compilation of COOP elements, a recommended template is offered. Local government continuity of operations plan developers must independently develop and "own" their continuity of operations plan based on the compilation COOP elements. An after action-report is a necessary component for continuity of operations plan maintenance and can be used for continuity of operations plan research. Academia must pursue continuity of operations plan research to qualitatively and quantitatively identify effective continuity of operations plans and their respective elements. With the advent of homeland security as an academic pursuit, research opportunity exists and should be supported by the federal government because of the critical nature of an effective COOP for local government in ensuring the continuity of essential functions during and after an event.
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