Healthy People in a Healthy Environment

Phase 3: Design and Development

COOP team now has to decide whether the plan should consist of:

  • One large plan, or…
  • A series of smaller COOP plans, one for each part of the agency

The form it takes will depend on:

  • The structure of the organization
  • The complexity of its mission
  • The resources available for planning

COOP plans should consist of the following parts:

  • Executive Summary
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction – Purpose and Applicability and Scope
  • Essential Functions
  • Authorities and References
  • Concept of Operations
  • COOP Planning Responsibilities
  • Logistics – Alternate Location and Interoperable Communications
  • Test, Training, and Exercises
  • COOP Maintenance Plan
  • Annexes (A-F)


Executive Summary

  • Outlines the organization and content of the COOP plan
  • Describes what it is, whom it affects, and the circumstances under which it should be executed
  • Discusses key elements of COOP planning
  • Explains the organization’s implementation strategies

Table of Contents

  • List by paragraph and page


Explains the importance of COOP planning and references any recent events that led to the increased emphasis on COOP capability. Includes:

  • Purpose – Why a COOP is being developed, its purpose. Designed to address the all-hazards threat
  • Applicability and Scope – How it applies to the whole organization (headquarters and subordinate activities). Should address the full spectrum of threats or crises.

Essential Functions

Includes a list of the organization’s prioritized essential functions

Authorities and References

Refers to an annex that outlines all supporting authorities and references used in developing the COOP.

Concept of Operations

Explains how the organization will arrange its COOP and how to address each critical COOP element. It is separated into three phases:

  • Activation and Relocation
  • Alternate Facility Operations
  • Reconstitution

COOP Planning Responsibilities

Includes additional delineation of COOP responsibilities of each key staff member to include:

  • Individual Emergency Relocation Group (ERG) members
  • Those identified in the order of succession and delegation of authority
  • Others, as appropriate


  • Alternate Location – Explain the significance of identifying an alternate facility, the requirements for determining an alternate facility, and the advantages and disadvantages of each location.
  • Interoperable Communication – Identify available and redundant critical communication systems located at the alternate facility.

Test, Training, and Exercise

Address these issues:

  • Familiarizes the staff with their roles and responsibilities during an emergency
  • Ensures that systems and equipment are maintained in a constant state of readiness
  • Validates certain aspects of the COOP

MYSPMP (Multi-Year Strategy and Program Management Plan)

Addresses short and long-term COOP goals, objectives, and timelines, budgetary requirements, planning and preparedness considerations, and planning milestones or tracking systems to monitor accomplishments. It should be developed as a separate document.

COOP Maintenance Plan

Addresses how the organization plans to ensure that the COOP Plan contains the most current information. Update:

  • Key evacuation routes
  • Roster and telephone information
  • Maps
  • Room/building designations of alternate locations
  • See Document 1


  •  Authorities and References
  •  Operational Checklists
  •  Alternate Location/Facility Information
  •  Maps and Evacuation Routes
  •  Definitions and Acronyms

Go to Phase 4: Implementation