The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines Continuity of Operations (COOP) as an effort within an agency to ensure that its essential functions continue to be performed during a wide range of emergencies.
Types of emergencies include:
Localized acts of nature
Technological or attack-related emergencies
Having a plan in place in case of emergencies takes away the guesswork when ensuring your library’s continuity of operations during and after an event.
A Continuity Plan is the written version of your COOP effort. A Continuity Plan prioritizes and guides decisions when emergencies occur. Any event that makes it impossible for employees to work in their regular facility could result in the activation of the Continuity Plan.
Consider the following real-world scenario and then reflect on the questions below. Click the left and right arrows to move through the scenario.
How would you have handled this event?
How did having a Continuity Plan prepare this university library for the winter weather event?
What different communication channels were used to inform, activate, and deploy staff?
There isn’t a standard requirement for the extent of your Continuity Plan. It most likely depends on the size of your library resources, number of staff, and likelihood of occurring emergencies.
FEMA recommends the following areas be included in your Continuity Plan:
Let’s examine these areas to see how you can include them in your Continuity Plan.
As you go through the training, you will see an example one-page Continuity Plan that includes the various FEMA recommended areas. You can download the full Continuity Plan example here:
One-Page Continuity Plan Example [PDF 261 KB]
Download the following template and fill in your Continuity Plan as you move through the training.
One-Page Continuity Plan Template [PDF 195 KB]
In this section, we covered the following main points: