Continuity of Operations

The State of Kansas has been actively engaged in developing Continuity of Operations, or COOP, plans for the past few years.  Under the leadership of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, state agencies have developed COOP plans in order to continue to provide essential services to our customers in the event of disasters and emergencies that may affect our staff and/or facilities.  Scenarios that we based our plan on included a widespread disease outbreak affecting our employees, facilities being destroyed or inaccessilbe, and the disruption of information technology services due to power outage or corruption. 

The Department spent several months working with programs to discuss scenarios and identify how services normally provided may be disrupted. Program managers and staff worked to identify what the most essential services were and then KDA leadership reviewed and prioritized those services.  These "Mission Essential Functions" were ranked as Priority 1, 2, or 3 based on the length of time that these services could be suspended.  For example, internal agency communications was deemed a Priority 1 function since it is imperative that KDA leadership is able to communicate with program/division managers and staff.  Once these priorities were identified, the KDA Emergency Management Coordinator worked with agency leadership and program managers to develop plans and procedures to ensure continuity of operations  For the example provided, phone trees, alternate email addresses, texting options and other communication strategies have been developed to ensure that agency leadership can communicate with all employees in a coordinated and rapid fashion.