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9 CHAPTER 3 INITIATING THE COOP PROCESS (TASK 1) In the transportation environment, as for many other pub- Coordinating intra-agency COOP planning efforts and lic agencies, the COOP planning process typically contains initiatives with policies, plans, and activities related to eight tasks: infrastructure protection and preventive measures; Training agency staff; Participating in periodic interagency COOP exercises to Task 1: Initiating the COOP Process; ensure effective interagency coordination and mutual Task 2: Capabilities Survey; support; and Task 3: Identifying Essential Functions; Notifying local, regional, and state agencies upon exe- Task 4: COOP Plan Development, Review, and Approval; cution of COOP plans. Task 5: Development of Supporting Procedures; Task 6: Training Personnel; The executive director or general manager probably will Task 7: Testing the Plan; and delegate these tasks. Executive leadership should monitor Task 8: Updating the Plan. COOP team efforts and coordinate between senior agency management and the team responsible for COOP planning. The remainder of these guidelines discusses the activities Experience has shown that COOP planning requires exec- to be performed by transportation agencies in each of these utive management support in order to be successful. The eight tasks. This chapter discusses the activities necessary to transportation chief executive sets the tone by authorizing establish the COOP planning process and ensure develop- planning to take place and directing senior management to ment, review, and approval of an appropriate COOP plan get involved. Developing the COOP program is a dynamic (Task 1). Chapter 4 discusses capabilities surveys for trans- process; planning, although important, is not the only com- portation agencies (Task 2). Chapter 5 provides guidance on ponent. Other important functions are implementation and the identification of essential functions (Task 3). Chapter 6 validation. supports the development of the remaining sections in the Detailed knowledge of emergency management is not COOP plan (Task 4). Chapter 7 provides information on required. What is required is the authority to create the plan, visibility within the agency, and commitment from man- developing supporting COOP plan procedures (Task 5). agement to ensure active participation at all levels. Because Finally, Chapter 8 discusses training for, testing, and updat- the COOP plan establishes the operational framework for ing the COOP plan (Tasks 6, 7, and 8). an effective alternate operations capability for the entire agency, the COOP plan will require considerable effort in the development phase and continued diligence to maintain IMPORTANCE OF TOP MANAGEMENT the program. SUPPORT As transportation agencies move through these eight DEVELOPING THE COOP PLAN tasks, it is important to remember that responsibility for COOP planning belongs not to a single unit, department, or In the transportation environment, developing the COOP plan can include division of a transportation agency, but ultimately to execu- tive leadership. In fulfilling this responsibility, the executive Establishing the COOP team; director or general manager can initiate the COOP planning An initial COOP meeting; process by Assigning authority; Milestones, schedule, and financial planning; and Appointing an agency COOP leader and team; Preparing for challenges. Allocating sufficient personnel and resources to develop, implement, and validate the COOP plan; Each of these activities is discussed below.

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10 Establishing a COOP Team sory capacity. The team is responsible not just for initial plan- ning, but for implementation, and the required plan update, Using a COOP team maintenance, exercise, and improvement that will keep the COOP plan and personnel current. Encourages participation by getting a range of trans- As indicated in Worksheet 2, each member of the COOP portation employees from different departments within team may be appointed in writing by management. It is the agency, important to include members from all functional areas-- Enhances team member performance, operations, maintenance, planning, engineering and con- Enhances the visibility and stature of the planning struction, human resources, safety, security, public informa- process, tion, information technology/telecommunications, finance Provides additional resources to support development and administration, labor union(s), public affairs, and legal. and support review and approval of the COOP plan, and Finally, depending on the size of the transportation agency, Provides for a broader perspective. it may prove worthwhile to establish subcommittees based on the following essential COOP elements: The COOP team is most effective if it represents different organizational units and disparate functional areas within the Plans and procedures, transportation or transit agency; however, it is advisable to Essential functions, have one individual in charge of the planning process. This Alternate facilities, individual serves as the COOP leader and has overall respon- Communications, sibility for developing and coordinating the COOP plan. It is Vital records and databases, also understood that, during activation of the COOP plan, Logistics and administration, this individual would play a significant role. Worksheet 1 is Personnel, and a template that the transportation agency can use to document Training and exercises. its selection of the COOP leader. References that can help transportation agencies in selecting a COOP team leader are available at Such subcommittees may facilitate organizing activities and The department or division leading the formal COOP coordinating deliverables. planning effort probably will vary across state DOTs, TMCs, and public transportation agencies and may include risk man- Initial COOP Meeting agement, emergency services, safety office, office of the exec- utive director, office of maintenance and engineering, bridge An initial meeting of the COOP team works best if it is division, transportation operations, and/or administration. The held shortly after the team members are selected for the COOP size of the COOP team will depend on the agency's opera- team. During this meeting, key agenda issues can be discussed, tions, requirements, and resources. For smaller agencies, the including the organization of the COOP team. Worksheet 3 COOP planning process may be managed by a team of two is a template for an agenda of this meeting. The COOP leader or three people. For larger agencies, the working team may can work with the senior management to establish the exact include as many as 10 people, representing the departments agenda and procedure. with a role in COOP implementation and validation. Work- sheet 2 is a template for documenting the members of the COOP team. Assigning Authority COOP team personnel can be selected on the basis of their knowledge and skills, including not only knowledge of the Senior management demonstrates its commitment to the transportation system and its functioning, but also special COOP program by authorizing the team to take all the steps skills that personnel bring to the job or exercise outside of necessary to develop, implement, and validate the plan and their work lives. Those familiar with command structure, capability. The COOP leader is most effective when it is such as former military personnel or those involved in a vol- someone who has sufficient stature and visibility within the unteer capacity with fire, police, or emergency services, can agency to ensure the COOP team is effective. Clear lines of be particularly helpful. Personnel can serve as team members authority are established, but provisions can be made to or perhaps as reviewers of work as it is completed. allow flexibility in coordination and free flow of information Ideally, the COOP team should include personnel who can from all levels. be active members and those who will serve as advisors. In The COOP team can focus its work by choosing a mis- most cases, one or two people will do most of the actual doc- sion statement to demonstrate its commitment. The state- umentation in a smaller agency, or within a specific area of ment would normally include the team's purpose, indicate responsibility in larger transit and transportation agencies. organizational involvement at all levels, and define the Rotation of membership on the COOP team may also be team's authority. Worksheet 4 is a template for such a mis- considered, with former active members serving in an advi- sion statement.

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11 Milestones, Schedule, and Financial Planning impact emergencies and explain their effect on the agency's ability to fulfill its mission. Also, reference Based on the mission statement, the COOP team, in coor- recent requirements and grant opportunities from the dination with senior management, also establishes project U.S. DHS (and subordinate agencies, such as the Office objectives, project deliverables, and a project schedule, which for Domestic Preparedness, the Transportation Security includes performance milestones. Timelines can be modified Administration (TSA), and FEMA). The regulatory envi- as priorities become more clearly defined during the process. ronment surrounding transportation security and emer- Typically, in the transportation environment, development of gency preparedness makes it wise to address potential the COOP plan takes between 6 months and 1 year. Work- requirements in advance. sheets 5 and 6 are for use in documenting this activity. COOP plans duplicate plans already in place. Exam- Additionally, a system for reporting on the progress of the ine the scope of existing plans. If necessary, explain that COOP planning initiative can be established. This process the focus of the COOP plan is on the transportation will ensure that senior management is kept informed of the agency itself. The COOP plan does not specify what to planning process and can support the resolution of any issues do in an emergency, but instead focuses on how to that emerge between or across departments. Worksheet 7 is restore internal operating capabilities within 12 hours a template for documenting this commitment. and how to sustain critical services for 30 days. In addi- Once the team has established its mission statement, objec- tion, although emergency response plans may address tives, milestones, schedule, and reporting process, an initial some COOP elements, they do not specify essential func- budget can be prepared and approved by senior management. tions or ensure that, no matter what the disruption, the The budget can include such things as research, printing, transportation agency will be able to provide services. seminars/workshops/meetings, consulting services, and other Finally, many of the elements required for communica- expenses that may be necessary during the preparation phase. tion with transportation personnel under COOP condi- Worksheet 8 can be used to identify costs. tions are simply not addressed in other transportation plans or activities. COOP plans need to address only significant emer- Preparing for Challenges gencies. Explain the overall disruption over time caused To reduce the effect of the inevitable problems that arise by more probable emergencies. For example, fires and during planning, the COOP team is advised to prepare for flooding cause far more damage than other more dramatic challenges. The use of program management techniques is emergencies, such as workplace violence, terrorism, or recommended. Transportation agencies are advised to even some types of natural disasters. If possible, draw on a historical example, an emergency that affected the local Establish specific goals and milestones, area or another area in the state, and demonstrate the ben- Prepare lists of tasks to be performed, efits of COOP planning in managing that emergency. Assign responsibility for each task, Why allocate resources to COOP planning? Docu- Select schedules for task completion, and ment the costs in terms of finances, community effect, Determine how to address problem areas and resource reputation, and long-term consequences for failing to pre- shortfalls. pare. Transportation agencies actively work to serve cus- tomers regardless of the circumstances. Citizens have the In carrying out these activities, the COOP team may encounter right to expect their transportation systems will take rea- resistance from within the agency. Possible responses and sonable measures to continue vital services at reasonable approaches to COOP planning objections and resistance are as costs. Also, grants or other funds may be available to off- follows: set these costs. Make note of these funds to demonstrate the diligence of the agency in addressing emergency pre- The COOP plan will never be required. Describe the paredness requirements in the most cost-effective manner changing threat paradigm and the probability of low- possible.