Ensuring Mission-Critical Services Through Continuity-of-Operations
Critical-infrastructure agencies responsible for providing mission-critical, lifesaving services to their communities need to do so without fail, regardless of the circumstances. Events such as hurricanes, pandemics and wildfires can have a profound impact on operations and staffing. And while it is virtually impossible to prevent them, or predict when they will occur, such events can be quickly and effectively mitigated if a continuity-of-operations plan (COOP) and disaster-recovery (DR) plan is in place.
A COOP’s purpose is exactly what one would envision. It’s a living, breathing document that considers all aspects of operations, including technology and staff, as well as the strategies and tactics that will enable the organization to continue providing its mission-critical services. A DR plan is a vital element of a COOP that addresses the organization’s information technology (IT) assets and is intended to keep them secure and operational.
Mission Critical Partners works closely with public-safety officials—drawing on decades of operational, technological and personnel experience—to develop and maintain comprehensive COOPs and DR plans that prepare their agencies to handle disruptive events efficiently and effectively, no matter what form they take.
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What Clients Can Expect
At MCP, our goal is to help public-safety agencies develop customized COOPs/DR plans that consider their unique circumstances, e.g., resources, capabilities, socioeconomics, geography, topology and other differentiating factors. The following are some of the key steps that MCP will support during COOP/DR plan development:
- Identify mission-essential functions and positions and define their roles, responsibilities and work tasks
- Develop a staff-succession plan and delegation-of-authority policies
- Identify and assess systems and equipment needed to conduct each mission-essential task
- Conduct a risk-and-vulnerability assessment to identify hazards and threats that could impact the organization
- Identify and obtain necessary intergovernmental agreements (IGA), mutual-aid agreements, and a memoranda of understanding (MOU)
- Test the plans via tabletop and operational exercises
- Develop after-action reports after plan activations
The work doesn’t end once the plans are developed and approved—MCP continues to work with agency officials to further refine them based on lessons learned and changing circumstances.
Key Areas of COOP/DR Plan Expertise
Strategic planning and governance development
Technology, operations and staffing assessments
COOP and DR plan development and testing
24 x 7 cybersecurity monitoring
Crisis preparedness planning
COOP/DR Plan Insights
Coronavirus is a Wakeup Call—Are You Listening?
In an article posted jointly by sister publications American City & County and Urgent Communications, MCP’s Richard Gaston explained the importance of COOPs and DR plans, and strategies for developing them.
Pandemic Underscores Importance of Public Safety Continuity-Of-Operations and Disaster-Recovery Plans
In this blog, MCP’s Richard Gaston explains how public-safety officials can avoid being asked by the public and the media, “why weren’t we ready for this?”
Cybersecurity and Public Safety: A Scary World is Getting Even Scarier
In this blog, MCP’s David S. Jones reviews the essential steps of developing COOPs and DR plans.
MCP Helps NCT911 Improve Its Crisis Communications
Mission Critical Partners helps the North Central Texas council of governments’ 911 program (NCT911) improve its crisis communications.
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Benefits of Working with a Public-Safety Consulting Firm
Learn how you can benefit from working with a consulting firm.
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Pandemic Continuity-of-Operations Plans
Continuity-of-operations plans (COOP) represent significant time and resource investments, but also are essential to maintaining the ability of an organization to continue to deliver mission-critical services during, and immediately following, a crisis. In this whitepaper we discuss why COOP planning is important and the critical elements that you need to include.
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