Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) for Businesses
How quickly your company can get back to business after
a terrorist attack or tornado, fire or flood often
depends on emergency planning done today. Start planning
now to improve the likelihood that your company will
survive and recover.
company functions, both internally and
externally, to determine which staff, materials,
procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to
keep the business operating.
process flow chart if one exists.
critical to survival and recovery.
payroll, expedited financial decision-making and
accounting systems to track and document
costs in the event of a disaster.
Establish procedures for
of management. Include at least one
person who is not at the company headquarters, if
shippers, resources and other businesses
you must interact with on a daily basis.
professional relationships with
one company to use in case your primary
contractor cannot service your needs. A disaster that
shuts down a key supplier can be devastating to your
Create a contact list
for existing critical business contractors and others
you plan to use in an emergency. Keep this list with
other important documents on file, in your
emergency supply kit
and at an off-site location.
Plan what you will do if your
plant or store is not accessible. This
type of planning is often referred to as a continuity of
operations plan, or COOP, and includes all facets of
Consider if you can run the business from a different
location or from your home.
Develop relationships with other companies to use their
facilities in case a disaster makes your location
Plan for payroll continuity.
participate in putting together your
Include co-workers from all levels in planning and as
active members of the emergency
cross-section of people from throughout
your organization, but focus on those with expertise
vital to daily
functions. These will likely include
people with technical skills as well as managers and
management procedures and
responsibilities in advance.
Make sure those involved know what they are supposed to
Train others in case you need back-up help.
Coordinate with others.
businesses in your building or
Talk with first responders, emergency managers,
community organizations and utility providers.
Plan with your suppliers, shippers and others you
regularly do business with.
Share your plans and encourage other businesses to set
in motion their own continuity planning and offer to
Review your emergency plans annually.
Just as your business changes over time, so do your
preparedness needs. When you hire new employees or when
there are changes in how your company functions, you
should update your plans and inform your people.