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2 Labor disputes or strikes; Protecting essential facilities, equipment, records, and Disruption of supply sources; other assets; Rioting or civil disorder; Reducing or mitigating disruptions to operations; War; Minimizing loss of life, injury, and property damage; and Hostage taking; Achieving a timely and orderly recovery and resump- Aircraft, ship, or port hijacking; tion of full service to customers. Human-caused--unintentional Voice and data telecommunications failures or COOP planning ensures that the transportation agency has malfunctions; a process to manage events that disrupt the agency's internal Software or hardware failures or malfunctions; operations or that deny access to important locations within Unavailability of key personnel; the agency's service area. Under certain disruptive condi- Human errors; tions, the transportation agency cannot perform its normal Power outages: external or internal; business activities. Therefore, COOP plans specify the min- Water outages; imum activities that will be performed by the transportation Gas outages; agency--no matter what the emergency or how it affects the Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) agency's service area. system failures or malfunctions; These minimum activities are called essential functions Accidental damage to or destruction of physical plant because they are the most important activities necessary to and assets; restore the internal capabilities of the transportation agency; Accidental contamination or hazardous materials to support emergency responders and emergency manage- spills; ment agencies; and to ensure the safety and protection of the Accidents affecting the transportation system; transportation system's users, personnel, contractors, and ven- Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) failure or mal- dors. In COOP planning, whether the emergency is the result function; and of natural or human-caused events, an all-hazards approach Inappropriate training on emergency procedures. ensures that essential functions will continue. Many transportation agencies have plans, policies, stan- dard and emergency operating procedures, checklists, and WHAT IS A COOP PLAN? job aids in place to direct immediate response to various emergency situations. For the most part, these emergency Depending on the type of emergency, continuity of oper- response plans and procedures have performed very well ations can be essential in emergency response planning. under real-life conditions. Such plans generally describe the However, because not all emergencies have COOP require- basic strategies, assumptions, and mechanisms through which ments, a separate COOP plan is developed. This plan is only transportation agencies and their local responders will mobi- activated under specific circumstances that disrupt the inter- lize resources and conduct activities to guide and support nal operation of the transportation agency through loss of efforts for emergency response and recovery. However, facilities, system, equipment, vehicles, or personnel. COOP detailed review of transportation agency emergency plans planning is a separate, but important component of emer- often identifies a continuity and recovery void. Conspicuously gency response planning. absent from many of these plans are the steps the transporta- COOP planning typically ensures that action will be taken tion agency should perform to maintain essential functions and immediately after an emergency disrupts internal transpor- services during emergencies that limit or deny availability of tation operations. This action will create an organization and personnel, facilities, systems, vehicles, or communications. capability that can be expected to begin performing essen- Without a management framework that clearly identifies tial functions within 12 hours of the emergency. This tem- essential functions and establishes operational procedures to porary COOP organization may continue to provide essen- sustain them when normal operations have been disrupted, tial functions for up to 30 days after the emergency or until transportation agencies remain vulnerable to service inter- normal operations resume. Although the period could be ruptions, reduced employee morale, and, perhaps most sig- slightly extended, the COOP organization is designed to be nificantly, loss of public confidence and community support. temporary. Beyond 30 days, it is assumed that the agency will have re-established a more formal structure for manag- PURPOSE OF COOP PLANS ing its operations. The temporary COOP organization will perform only those COOP planning has five main goals: functions identified and prioritized as essential during COOP planning. In most cases, these essential functions will be per- Ensuring continuous performance of essential agency formed to meet minimum legal, public safety, operational functions and operations during any situation or emer- and maintenance, and public information requirements. By gency that may disrupt normal operations; identifying and prioritizing essential functions, transporta-