Continuity of Operations Planning

Tell a friend about this page.
All fields required.
Can be sent to only one email address at a time.
Share Facebook Icon Twitter Icon

Office of Environmental Health & Safety

Continuity of Operations Planning (COOP)

Storm Ready

StormReady is a recognition program started in 1999 by the National Weather Service to help arm America's communities and Universities with the communication and safety skills needed to save lives and property–before and during an event.  StormReady Universities are better prepared to save lives from the onslaught of severe weather through advanced planning, education, awareness efforts and effective warning systems. No University is storm proof, but meeting the StormReady criteria can help save lives.


Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) are intended to guide departments, divisions, and the University as a whole in the continued provisions of critical operations and the reestablishment of business functions during and after a disaster occurs.  COOP planning is a critical piece of overall emergency management which encompasses planning, mitigation, response, and recovery from a disaster.

COOPs should, at minimum, address the following disruptions:

  • Loss of access to a facility (e.g. structural damage)
  • Interruption in service due to a reduced workforce (e.g. pandemic)
  • Interruption in service due to equipment or systems failure (e.g. IT systems failure, electric, water, heat)


Not sure if your department should develop a COOP plan?  Does your department have a stake in:

  • Academics and instruction
  • Student support
  • Healthcare
  • Research
  • Critical business, finance and/or infrastructure operations

All university departments, including satellite facilities outside of Greenville, should participate in COOP planning.

A few examples of departmental essential functions:

  • Instruction
  • Food service
  • Maintaining basic utilities (e.g. sewer, water, electricity)
  • Preserving sensitive research materials
  • Performing certain fiscal activities

The Office of Internal Audit performs audits of COOP plans annually.

Plan Contents

COOPs are comprised of information which allows an entity to continue business unit essential functions during and after a disaster.  Nominally, the duration of a COOP planning period is 30 days or less.  A departmental COOP may be comprised of the following components:

  • Identification of Essential Functions
  • Succession of Leadership
  • Delegation of Authorities
  • Communications
  • Vital Data, Systems and Equipment
  • Internal and External Dependencies
  • COOP Revision and Maintenance
  • Training and Exercise


For assistance developing or updating a COOP for your department, please contact Environmental Health and Safety at 328-6166.

The departmental COOP template can be downloaded here.

External Resources

FEMA, Building a Disaster-Resistant University


ECU Environmental Health & Safety
210 East Fourth Street | Greenville, NC 27858-4353 USA
252.328.6166 | Contact Us
© 2014 | Terms of Use | Last Updated: 2014-04-09
Give To East Carolina University