Continuity of Operations
The goal of the Sustaining Critical Services: Continuity of Operations toolkit is to help you develop and implement a continuity of operations plan.
- Develop tools to advance BC planning for LHD’s in the areas of essential function identification, order of succession, vital resource management and human capital management and emergency operations center management
- Develop tools to enhance leadership decision-making regarding allocation of resources across continuity and response operations
- Develop plans to integrate BC operations into incident command
This web toolkit consists of ten tools. The first seven will assist health departments with pre-event continuity of operations planning before an emergency occurs. The last three will assist health departments to manage the impacts of an emergency or disaster on business operations as it is happening.
Each tool is supplemented with links to helpful resources – blank templates, completed samples, and additional background materials. The ten planning exercises can be completed without these additional resources, but they are provided with the intent of helping agencies save time and serve to further clarify the strategies in this toolkit. Links can also assist planners who wish to delve deeper into continuity of operations planning.
By completing the ten tools in this web toolkit, you are greatly improving your department’s readiness to activate its continuity of operations plan. The tools can be used as individual planning exercises, but you will benefit from following the sequencing and links indicated. And, you will achieve the best results and minimize overlapping efforts by completing all ten tools in order.
This toolkit does not include tools to help you develop a robust disaster recovery program—another important component to your business resiliency. Disaster recovery programs create the capability to retrieve lost data and restore access to critical systems following a catastrophic disaster. For more information on disaster recovery, view this toolkit produced by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers:
IT Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Tool-kit: Planning for the Next Disaster (June 2007)
You may wish to charter a continuity of operations workgroup representing workers from your major operating units to assist with and review products generated by this planning effort. A sample charter for such a group is included.
How the tools are designed to be used
Each tool has its own page on the Sustaining Critical Services website. The landing page for each tool contains instructions for completing that planning exercise. On these landing pages, you will find the following information:
|What You Need Before Starting This Work|
|If You Have Just a Little Time to Spend|
|Steps to Completion|
You will find this additional information on following pages:
|If You Have More Time to Spend|
|Where This Leads You|
|Pitfalls to Avoid|
|How You Know You Got it Right|
|Considerations for Rural Health Departments|
|Resources to Support This Tool|
Each tool’s webpage is peppered with helpful call outs, links to glossary terms, and clickable links for those who wish to delve deeper.
FEMA’s Continuity Evaluation Tool is cited throughout the toolkit as a method for health departments to either assess gaps in a particular capability area prior to beginning the planning exercises, or assess after implementation, which gaps remain. This is the agency’s recommended self-assessment tool for government agencies. After completing the ten tools included in this toolkit, the number of “yes” responses to FEMA’s Continuity Evaluation Tool should increase.
Resources Discussed in the User’s Guide:
Table of Contents
*Last updated 2012