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The impact of emergencies and disasters on District government agencies and private-sector organizations is challenging to predict. Catastrophic crises may disrupt government and organizational functions and services and impact personnel and resources. Thus, Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans are vital for ensuring District government agencies and private-sector organizations, continue to provide essential functions to District residents and visitors during and after a wide range of emergencies.
The District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) provides the leadership in devising an all-hazard based emergency management program that assures that government agencies and private-sector organizations are engaged in a process to address continuity of operation planning. HSEMA provides references and technical assistance with the creation of agency and/or organization specific COOP plans. Also, HSEMA provides technical support in the form of training, exercise development, program implementation and evaluation.
Technical assistance provided by HSEMA is not limited to governmental agencies, but extends to private-sector organizations through Business Continuity Planning. Businesses provide vital services and resources; and they should be prepared for any type of emergency or disaster.
The COOP planning process complements tenets of the District Response Plan by assuring continuous provision of essential functions in the aftermath of any disaster impacting the Nation’s Capital. COOP planning components are conducive for addressing any type of small or large scale emergency; and these elements conform to the National Incident Management System (NIMS).