Continuity Planning

Continuity Word Cloud

Continuity is the ability to ensure the continuation of an organization’s essential functions and to provide uninterrupted services during emergencies of all-hazard types or any situation that may disrupt normal operations. The goal of Continuity Planning is to ensure that the State of California can continue its vital governmental services and operations under all conditions. For this to take place, state and local agencies and departments must have plans in place to carry out their essential functions without interruption to essential services.

This webpage provides Continuity Planning Guidance and Resources to local, state, and tribal governments, agencies, departments, and organizations. These efforts include the following:

Continuity Planning for State Agencies and Departments

CPAT Signature PageThe California Continuity Planning Guidance and Plan Template provides direction to state agencies and departments in developing their continuity plans and programs. The Governor, through Executive Order S-04-06, expressed his commitment to ensuring that 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 Continuity of Operations Plans and Continuity of Government (COOP/COG) Plans,” the ongoing expectation is state agencies and departments will continue to revise and 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.

To ensure 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 has been developed to help maintain a continuity plan that reflects the most current state/federal continuity planning standards. 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 Agencies & Departments Resources:

Pandemic Planning

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.

Continuity Pandemic Resources:

Continuity Training

It is essential that a continuity training, testing, and exercise program be developed, implemented, and maintained to ensure the integrity of the Continuity Program. A training strategy should be developed which addresses the following 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?

Available State and Federal Continuity Training:

  • Cal OES Continuity Workshops: Cal OES hosts annual Continuity Manager’s workshops that focuses on the need to assist continuity and technology recovery planners with information, abilities, and skills to design, conduct and evaluate continuity resumption exercises. The workshop provides a linkage between organizational resiliency and developing trusted partnerships in achieving a unified preparedness mission for the purpose of statewide resiliency.
  • Continuity Excellence Series: Professional and Master Practitioner Continuity Certificate Programs. The Continuity Excellence Series (CES) has two levels of proficiency, the Professional Continuity Practitioner and the Master Continuity Practitioner. The certification program is designed for continuity professionals throughout state, local, federal, and tribal governments and all emergency management partners.
  • IS-1300: Introduction to Continuity of Operations – Lays the foundation for students who wish to increase their understanding of continuity and continuity programs.
  • E/L/K 1301: Continuity Planning – Assists continuity practitioners with understanding their continuity roles and responsibilities, and increases their knowledge, skills, and the tools necessary to develop and maintain a viable continuity plan.
  • E/L/K 1302: Continuity of Operations Program Management – Assists continuity program managers with understanding their roles and responsibilities and provides resources to help develop continuity capabilities for their organizations.
  • IS-120: An Introduction to Exercises – Introduces the basics of emergency management exercises and builds a foundation for subsequent exercise courses.
  • IS-130: How to be an Exercise Evaluator – Introduces the basics of emergency management exercise evaluation and improvement planning. It provides the foundation for exercise evaluation concepts and practices as identified in the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP).
  • E/L/K 0146: HSEEP Training Course – Describes the core principles and processes of HSEEP, its standardized methodology, available resources, and assists with practical skills for exercise program development.
  • IS-520: Introduction to Continuity of Operations Planning for Pandemic Influenzas – Introduces students to the characteristics of a pandemic influenza, the effects that a pandemic influenza can have on our society, and the steps their organizations can take to minimize the effects.
  • IS-545: Reconstitution Planning Course – The purpose of the Reconstitution Planning Course is to assist local, state, tribal, and federal jurisdictions with reconstitution planning.
  • IS-551: Devolution Planning – Is designed to provide students with the tools and practical knowledge necessary to develop their organization’s devolution plans and procedures.
  • L0552: Continuity of Operations (COOP) for Tribal Governments – Provides tribal representatives and coordinators with an understanding of how to develop and implement a Continuity of Operations Program to ensure tribal community essential functions are maintained.

Continuity References and Resources



Technology Recovery Program (TRP) and the State Administrative Manual (SAM)

For additional information please contact the Cal OES Continuity Planning Team.

For additional information please contact the Cal OES Continuity Planning Team.

Matt Cadrett

Matt Cadrett

Senior Emergency Services Coordinator

Office: (916) 364-4517

Isamar Garcia

Isamar Garcia

Emergency Services Coordinator

Office: (916) 845-8796