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What is a continuity of operations plan? An agency "COOP" establishes policy and guidance for decision making, communications, and the continuation of mission-essential work that must continue – either uninterrupted, or with minimal, tolerable interruption – during an emergency (for example, severe weather, natural or man-made disaster, or malevolent attack). During such an event, if a work location is uninhabitable, staff may be relocated to "alternate worksites" or they may be asked to telework from home.

The COOP program manager works with the agency's management team to routinely update the plan and coordinate plan training/testing (“exercising”), so that staff know their responsibilities and what steps to be taken during an emergency event.