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Continuity of Operations Planning

A Continuity of Operations Plan (CoOP) documents how the division or department performs essential operations in an emergency situation or during long-term disruptions, which might last from 2 days to several weeks. The plan identifies 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 software product, Boise State Ready, that automates the CoOP process. Click the link below to access Boise State Ready.

Boise State Ready

Please contact by emailing or calling (208) 426-4346 and we will provide training and materials to help you complete the plan.

The training session varies in length from .5 to 1.5 hours. Follow up assistance with your continuity plan may be scheduled as needed.

Key Planning Principles

  • The focus of a CoOP is on essential functions, not particular people. Essential functions and those who can fulfill those functions will change, depending on the situation.
  • Plans will include how impacted students will continue to receive the services for which they have paid or reasonable financial compensation for those not received, where applicable.
  • Plans will include adequate measures to protect student records in the event of closure or discontinuing a service.
  • The functions of a department do not change in continuity mode. Departments not normally responsible for food, shelter, security, etc. do not need to plan to assume those responsibilities.
  • A plan will not cover all contingencies. Good planning, however, will allow for good decision making in the midst of a crisis.
  • The planning process is the most important aspect of the CoOP exercise, even more so than the final product.

Information and Resources

To start a department plan in Boise State Ready, at least one person on your staff will need to become familiar with the tool. The initial person trained in Boise State Ready should be an Executive (AVP, Chair, 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 in the Emergency Operations Center or at your office location, or remotely. As you develop your plan, here are a few points to consider:

    • In an emergency, all or parts of offices, records, and equipment may be inaccessible.
    • Data networks, communications, and utility services may be disrupted in 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 complete work.
    • Boise State Ready will help you focus on how your functions can continue, even if at a lower level of service.