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24 CHAPTER 6 COOP PLAN DEVELOPMENT, REVIEW, AND APPROVAL (TASK 4) Once the capabilities survey is complete and essential determined. Such formal documentation of what the agency functions have been chosen and prioritized, the COOP team intends to do, when it intends to do it, where it intends to do can begin creating the COOP plan. The actual process for it, and how it intends to do it is often called a Concept of documenting the COOP plan may vary depending on orga- Operations (CONOPS). The agency's CONOPS then con- nizational practices; however, the methodology is often sim- sists of implementation of the plan first. Implementation ilar across transportation agencies. At each major stage in the means agreement that the plan will be followed. The actual drafting process, it is important to seek constructive criticism activation of the plan, when it is put into operation, is also and review. addressed here. The plan will identify activities for Each agency is advised to Ensuring leadership succession and assignment of Prepare the first draft; authority; Coordinate review by each organizational unit on the Assigning specific teams to perform essential functions; first draft; Identifying and preparing alternate facilities; Incorporate changes and develop a second draft; Protecting vital records and databases and communica- Seek external review by expert(s) and partners in local/ tion systems; and regional/state emergency response and management on Maintaining the plan through training and testing, fol- the second draft; lowed by evaluation and improvement planning. Incorporate changes and develop the final draft; Present the final draft to the appropriate senior leader- This section describes major activities to be performed to ship for approval and signature; Finalize the plan; Determine conditions necessitating the activation of the Print and distribute the plan; and COOP plan; Review and update the plan annually or as major Determine hours of operation; changes occur. Identify alternate work sites from which to perform COOP functions (if the primary facilities are destroyed Coordination of the plan with local responders is vital to the or disrupted); plan's success. Coordinating the plan with local responders Create COOP teams; also will reduce the duplication of efforts, provide a means for Delegate emergency authorities and manage orders of assigning scarce resources, and enhance the overall plan- succession; ning process. Finally, sharing the COOP plan with partners in Identify and protect vital records; and local, regional, and state emergency response and manage- Address interoperable communications requirements. ment agencies will enhance their understanding of the trans- portation agency and the agency's ability to provide support- Each of these activities is discussed below. ing services if an emergency disrupts internal transportation operations. ACTIVATING THE COOP PLAN USING ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS TO BUILD Whatever emergencies are anticipated, the agency can THE COOP PLAN develop an executive decision process that allows for a review of the emergency situation and determination of the Essential functions are the basis for the plan the agency best course of action for response and recovery. Using a deci- will create. Agencies following the process outlined in these sion matrix for implementing the COOP plan, the agency guidelines will have begun looking at personnel, records, and will avoid premature or inappropriate COOP activation. This resource needs as the prioritized essential functions were matrix will also enable the transportation/transit agency to