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Continuity of Operations (COOP)

COOP planning is the effort to ensure the continued performance of critical business and government functions during a wide range of potential emergencies. The benefits of COOP planning include the ability to: anticipate events and necessary response actions, improve performance through the identification of agency essential functions that must be supported in an emergency, and improve communication to support essential functions throughout the agency.

A COOP plan addresses emergencies from an all-hazards approach and establishes policy and guidance ensuring that critical functions continue. Creating a continuity of operations plan should be a guided process and a team effort that will draw on your understanding of department operations and help prepare for contingencies.

Training, guides and templates are available on this site to help facilitate the planning process.



FEMA Continuity Guidance Circular - Details the fundamental theories and concepts to unify the application of continuity principles, planning, and programs across the Nation. It provides guidance on the integration of continuity concepts, provides a common foundation for understanding continuity, and guides the development of other tools and resources.



FEMA IS-1300: Introduction to Continuity of Operations - This course is intended to lay the foundation of knowledge for students who wish to increase their understanding of continuity and building a comprehensive continuity program in their organization or jurisdiction. Course Length: 1 hour

FEMA IS-520: Introduction to Continuity of Operations Planning for Pandemic Influenzas - This course introduces students to the characteristics of a pandemic influenza, the effects that a pandemic influenza can have on every facet of our society, and the steps their organizations can take to minimize the effects of a pandemic. Course Length: 1 hour


Plan Templates

Continuity Plan Template - provides instructions, guidance, and sample text for the development of continuity plans and programs in accordance with the Continuity Guidance Circular. This template is designed for non-federal entities, and may be useful for all levels of state, local, territorial and tribal governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations.

Pandemic Influenza COOP Plan/Annex - This template provides guidance to assist organizations in developing a Pandemic Influenza Continuity of Operations Plan or, if the organization already has a continuity plan, a Pandemic Influenza Annex.


Other Resources

Continuity Planning Checklist – Provides a list of items to consider in continuity planning.

Continuity Risk Toolkit - Provides general information on risk and techniques that may be used to perform risk analysis. It serves as a continuity resource for stakeholders by providing reference material, information, and guidance intended to further develop and refine risk identification and determine the potential for all-hazard risks to affect the performance of essential functions and essential supporting activities.

Continuity Assessment Tool – An assessment tool developed to assist organizations and communities in identifying areas of strength, areas for improvement, best practices, and lessons learned.

Ready Business Continuity Planning Suite – Software created to help businesses create, improve or update its business continuity plan.

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