Continuity of Operations Planning
It is the policy of Fairfax County government to respond quickly at all levels in the event of an emergency or threat resulting from human, technological, natural or other causes, and to ensure its ability to perform essential functions under all circumstances. Continuity of Operations Planning, or COOP, refers to the internal efforts county agencies must take to assure that the capability exists to continue essential functions in response to a broad spectrum of emergencies or operational interruptions.
COOP planning is an ongoing process that is driven in part by growth and change in information systems, personnel and mission critical needs. Operational interruptions may include routine business renovation or maintenance; mechanical failure of heating or other building systems; fire; inclement weather or other acts of nature; or a range of threatened or actual attacks. Other events that may interrupt departmental activity include failure of information technology (IT) systems and telecommunications due to malfunction or cyber attack.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's "Ready Business" section offers information and many great tips to help businesses with emergency and continuity of operations planning. Topics include:
The changing threat environment and Fairfax County’s experience with recent emergencies have shifted awareness to the need to develop COOP capabilities to enable departments to continue essential functions across a broad spectrum of emergencies. As recent events and preparedness exercises have demonstrated, government operations can be disrupted by a variety of events, both man made and natural. Whether the disruption results from severe weather or from a blackout caused by a malfunction of power grid technology, residents still expect government services to be available when they are needed.
As an aid in continuing to provide essential services to citizens under emergency conditions, the county's COOP Oversight Committee has developed resources for county agencies to use in their COOP planning process.
Fairfax County Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Guidance
PDF file (800 KB) - updated 10-26-2006
Fairfax County Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)
PDF file (205 KB) - updated 10-26-2006
Continuity of Operations Planning Training
Independent Study programs available from the FEMA Emergency Management Institute:
IS 546 - Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP) Awareness
IS 547 - Introduction to Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)
For general questions or information about COOP, we can be reached via:
571-350-1000, TTY 711