This webpage provides guidance and direction to local, state, federal agencies, tribal governments, the private sector and other non-government organizations as it relates to continuity planning. These efforts include the following:
Provide for continuity communications/information technology redundancy;
Provide for human resources planning;
Validate capabilities through test, training, and exercise (TT&E) programs;
Specify devolution of control and direction;
Provide for reconstitution and recovery; and Outreach tools and continuity planning links.
Enhance organizational/community resilience that plays a critical role in managing threats to essential business functions today and far into the future. Resilience can be defined as the ability of an organization/community core business functions to rapidly adapt and respond to internal or external dynamic changes, business opportunities, demands, disruptions or threats.
Continuity resilience must encompass business as well as information technology operations and recognize the importance of partnerships and interrelationships. It can be thought of as spanning six discrete layers:
1) Strategic planning and procedures;2) Organization/community (people);3) Core business processes;4) Communications and information technology (systems/applications),5) Essential/vital records (data/records management) 6) Facilities and security.
1) Strategic planning and procedures;
2) Organization/community (people);
3) Core business processes;
4) Communications and information technology (systems/applications),
5) Essential/vital records (data/records management)
6) Facilities and security.
This layered approach is scalable and applicable to individual organizations and communities as a whole. Continuity cannot occur without the commitment and dedication of many partners who play integral roles in providing critical business functions and vital services throughout California. As part of each organization’s continuity planning and identification of its essential business functions, it is critical that each organization clearly identify its partners, and in particular, those supplies, products, information, and other inputs the organization receives from partners that are vital to the organization/community’s ability to accomplish its essential business functions.
Building Organizational Resiliency Document
Pandemic influenza demands an additional set of Continuity planning considerations. Unlike traditional Continuity planning, pandemic influenza may be widely dispersed geographically and will potentially arrive in waves that could last several months at a time. While a pandemic will not directly damage facilities, power lines, banks or computer networks, it will ultimately threaten all critical infrastructure by removing essential personnel from the workplace for weeks or months. This makes a pandemic a unique circumstance necessitating a strategy that extends well beyond the public health and medical considerations, to include the sustainment of critical infrastructure, private-sector activities, the movement of goods and services across the nation and the globe, and economic and security considerations.
State agencies are encouraged to develop an annex to their existing Continuity plans that adequately address issues such as increased absenteeism, social distancing procedures, and impacts on interdependencies. The resources below are some of the best examples for guiding an organization in developing and formalizing a strategy for responding to a public health emergency.
Business Preparedness Framework for Pandemic Influenza
FEMA COOP Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Plan Template Guide
National Pandemic Influenza Plans
Pandemic Influenza Brochure
The updated California Continuity Planning Guidance and Plan Template (December 2009) provides direction to the State executive branch agencies for developing continuity plans and programs. Continuity planning facilitates the performance of executive branch essential functions during all-hazards emergencies or other situations that may disrupt normal operations. The ultimate goal of Continuity Planning is to ensure that the State of California is able to continue its vital governmental services and operations under all conditions. For this to take place, state agencies must have plans in place to carry out their departmental essential functions without interruption.
The Governor, through Executive Order S-04-06, expressed his commitment to ensuring that the Executive Branch agencies and departments are ready to respond and recover from natural and man-made incidents. Based on the Executive Order’s reference to “update COOP/COG Plans,” the ongoing expectation is that State agencies/departments will continue to maintain their plans. As a result, Cal OES offers guidance and tools to enable executive branch agencies / departments to enhance and maintain their continuity plans. The planning resources and tools included in this program can be used whether an organization is starting from the very beginning of the planning process or merely updating plans already in place. However, Executive Order S-04-06 requires that the plans developed or updated by state agencies and departments be consistent with the guidelines promulgated by CAL OES.
A letter dated December 14, 2009 was sent to Agency Secretaries announcing the availability of the revised Continuity Guidelines. A copy of this letter is also attached below.
This Incident Command System (ICS) planning process helps establish Management by Objective (MBO) and operational priorities. This process becomes the roadmap for implementation by addressing five critical elements in re-establishing essential business functions within 12 hours of activation.
Achieve a proactive response by providing a decision making process for the Senior Activation Team (SAT) in establishing an Action Plan within the first 4 hours.
The Planning "P" illustrates the incident planning process for the initial operational period and/or related continuity phases:
Readiness and Preparedness
Activation and Relocation
Reconstitution and Recovery
Cal OES's Statewide Continuity Initiative Survey is designed to help develop future continuity programs throughout California.
Cal OES is seeking feedback from your agency or department regarding your continuity training and exercise needs, as well as general information regarding your continuity plan. Therefore, we are asking Continuity Managers, Emergency Planners, and/or other appropriate management to complete a short continuity survey located at the following link:
Most of the significant changes in the State Continuity Program are due to the incorporation of new emphases and concepts from the revised federal continuity guidelines. They include the following:
• Historically, the federal government defined continuity efforts using the terms “COOP” and “COG.” These were often separate and compartmentalized activities. This old organizational framework has changed and the new emphasis is reflected throughout the updated California Continuity Planning Guide. As recommended in the updated federal continuity directives, California now uses the reference to “Continuity Planning” as an overlapping integration of continuity of operations and continuity of government concepts.• Risk Management, as an essential tool in continuity planning, has been incorporated. In the face of multiple and diverse catastrophic possibilities, it is accepted that risk-a function of threats, vulnerabilities, consequences-is a permanent condition. Applying a disciplined approach to managing risk will help to achieve best progress, long term success, and overall effectiveness and efficiency. • Changes in terminology include: the use of “Continuity Facilities” instead of “Alternate Operating Facilities”, and “Continuity Communications” rather than “Interoperable Communications.” • The creation of a “continuity readiness posture” is promoted, similar to the federal executive branch’s Continuity of Government Readiness Conditions (COGCON) system that establishes readiness levels in order to provide a flexible and coordinated response to escalating threat levels or actual emergencies. • An additional phase is added to the previously described continuity operational phases. The phases are now: readiness and preparedness (new), activation and relocation, continuity operations, and reconstitution.
• Historically, the federal government defined continuity efforts using the terms “COOP” and “COG.” These were often separate and compartmentalized activities. This old organizational framework has changed and the new emphasis is reflected throughout the updated California Continuity Planning Guide. As recommended in the updated federal continuity directives, California now uses the reference to “Continuity Planning” as an overlapping integration of continuity of operations and continuity of government concepts.
• Risk Management, as an essential tool in continuity planning, has been incorporated. In the face of multiple and diverse catastrophic possibilities, it is accepted that risk-a function of threats, vulnerabilities, consequences-is a permanent condition. Applying a disciplined approach to managing risk will help to achieve best progress, long term success, and overall effectiveness and efficiency.
• Changes in terminology include: the use of “Continuity Facilities” instead of “Alternate Operating Facilities”, and “Continuity Communications” rather than “Interoperable Communications.”
• The creation of a “continuity readiness posture” is promoted, similar to the federal executive branch’s Continuity of Government Readiness Conditions (COGCON) system that establishes readiness levels in order to provide a flexible and coordinated response to escalating threat levels or actual emergencies.
• An additional phase is added to the previously described continuity operational phases. The phases are now: readiness and preparedness (new), activation and relocation, continuity operations, and reconstitution.
The other changes in the updated Guide include:
Cal OES announces a new maintenance program initiative in the updated Continuity Guidance. Continuity plans and programs are dynamic and require regular updating to reflect any changes in the organization (e.g., staffing, structure, functions, equipment, communications, leadership, and resources). In order to ensure that baseline of capability in all the key planning element areas, a Continuity Plan Evaluation Checklist has been created and included in the Continuity Planning Guide. The Continuity Plan Evaluation Checklist is a self-certification that an agency has developed and is maintaining a continuity plan that reflects the most current state and federal continuity planning standards and best practices. The Checklist documents the organization’s Continuity Program and Plan status.
Beginning in 2010, the Continuity Plan Evaluation Checklist is to be completed by the agency’s continuity planning team and signed by the secretary/director. The Continuity Plan Approvals page is used to indicate that the organization's senior level officials have read the Continuity Plan and understand their roles and responsibilities should the organization's business essential functions be disrupted. The Checklist should then be mailed to CAL OES according to the Continuity Planning Guidance Document. Schedule for submission is contained within the guidance and provided for quick reference below.
***State continuity guidance requires that state agencies and departments evaluate and update COOP/COG plans and submit completed Continuity Plan Evaluation Checklists on an annual basis. Due to the more frequent and complicated emergencies experienced in California, often involving multiple counties and regions of the state, our State Agency partners have been stretched thin on resources and staff. Due to the increased demand, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is not requiring our partners to submit their plans or Evaluation Checklists until January of 2023. We still strongly encourage state agencies and departments to continue to review all continuity plans and use all evaluation methods to ensure California’s resiliency.
It is essential that a Continuity Training, Testing and Exercise Program be developed, implemented and maintained to ensure the integrity of the various emergency planning documents included in the agency Continuity Program. A training strategy should be developed which addresses five critical questions:
1. Who should be trained? 2. What tasks should they be trained to perform? 3. Which training instruction/delivery methods should be utilized to maximize success? 4. What methods are most capable of evaluating competency and performance upon completion of the training? 5. How will gaps in knowledge and application be identified, documented and remedied in future training opportunities?
Please note: IS-546a Continuity of Operations Awareness Course (Retired) replaced with IS-1300 IS-547a Introduction to Continuity of Operations (Retired) replaced with IS-1300IS-1300: Introduction to Continuity of OperationsThis course is intended to lay the foundation of knowledge for students who wish to increase their understanding of continuity and building a comprehensive continuity program in their organization or jurisdiction. Replaces 546a and 547a.
NPD Online Course Catalog Search (OCC) - Used in the development of Continuity Multi-Year T&E Programs
Introduction to Continuity of Operations Planning for Pandemic Influenzas (IS-520) 1 Hour
Reconstitution Planning Course (IS-545)
"NEW" FEMA Guide to Continuity of Government for State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Governments
Guide to Continuity Program Management
Continuity Guidance Circular (CGC)
Continuity Assessment Tool (CAT)
Continuity Plan Template and Instructions
Continuity Resource Toolkit
Federal Continuity Directive 1
Federal Continuity Directive 2
FEMA Reconstitution Template
Bay Area UASI Continuity of Operations/ Continuity of Government Toolkit
Preparing for the Flu: Communication Toolkit for Businesses and Employers
National Security (NSPD 51) and Homeland Security (HSPD-20) Presidential Directives
Continuity Plan Template for Federal and Non-Federal Entities
Continuity Plan Template and Instructions for Non-Federal Entities
Continuity Plan Template and Instructions for Federal Entities
FEMA COOP Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Template (MYSPMP)
FEMA COOP Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Template Guide (MYSPMP)
FEMA COOP Multi-Year Strategy Budget
FEMA COOP Vital Records PPT
FEMA COG Guidance/CPG 1-10
FEMA Devolution of Operations Plan Template
Reconstitution Plan/Annex Template and Instructions
Key Elements of Departmental Pandemic Influenza Operational Plans (Meta Checklist)
California Department of Technology Information Security
Technology Recovery Plan
Technology Recovery Plan Documentation Instructions
Business Continuity Planning - How to create a Business Continuity Plan
Business Implementation Continuity Planning
Business Continuity Institute
Jeff Newman(916) firstname.lastname@example.org
As the State Continuity Program continues to evolve, additional development tools and aids will be added to the website. Training courses will also be posted as they come available.
Questions concerning the Continuity Planning can also be directed to the following email address: Continuity@caloes.ca.gov