Continuity of Operations Planning

What is a Continuity of Operations Plan?

A Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) will document how the division or department will perform essential operations during an emergency situation or long-term disruption, which might last from 2 days to several weeks. The plan will identify mission-critical functions, departmental communication methods, and alternate personnel, systems and locations. Each University division needs a COOP to ensure the University can respond effectively to a variety of situations.

Create a Continuity of Operations Plan for your department

Creating a continuity of operations plan is a team effort and a guided process which will pull from your understanding of department operations with Emergency Management’s expertise in preparing for contingencies. The University has implemented a new software product, Boise State Ready, that automates the COOP process.

Please contact or ph. (208) 426-4991 and we will provide training and materials to help you plan. The training session is 1 – 1.5 hours. Follow up assistance with your continuity plan may be scheduled as needed.

Key Planning Principles

  • The focus of a COOP should be on essential functions, not particular people. Essential functions and those who can fulfill those functions will change, depending on the situation.
  • The functions of a department does not change in a COOP; departments not normally responsible for food, shelter, security, etc. do not need to plan to assume those responsibilities.
  • The planning process is the most important aspect of the COOP exercise, even more so than the final product.
  • A plan will not cover all contingencies. Good planning, however, will allow for good decision making in the midst of a crisis.

General rules for use

To start a department plan in Boise State Ready, at least one person on your staff will need to complete a short training session. The initial person trained in Boise State Ready should be an Office or Business Manager, Director, Dean, or designee of the same.  Once the first person has completed training, any number of additional people in your department can use the system. Training is offered in person and at your office location.

Information and Resources

As you develop your plan, it may be useful to consider different types of impacts. For example:

  • In an emergency, all or part of offices, records, and equipment may be inaccessible
  • Data network, communications, and utility services may be disrupted in the one facility or campus-wide
  • Critical hardcopy and digital records may be damaged or destroyed
  • An emergency event may directly impact staff members, limiting their ability to come to work

Boise State Ready will help you focus on how your functions can continue, even if at a lower level of service. Boise State Ready can be accessed through this link: