The COOP Planning Guide contains hyperlinks to facilitate navigation within the document and to external sources. Each of the individual sections of the Guide is outlined below.
Section I: COOP Planning for State Courts
COOP stands for continuity of operations; courts develop a COOP plan to ensure they know what to do if faced with an emergency that threatens continuation of normal operations. Traditionally, a COOP plan is developed and implemented for situations in which the courthouse or court-related facilities are threatened or inaccessible (e.g., as a result of a natural or man-made disaster). A traditional COOP plan establishes effective processes and procedures to quickly deploy pre-designated personnel, equipment, vital records and supporting hardware and software to an alternative site to sustain organizational operations for up to 30 days. It also covers the resumption of normal operations after the emergency has ended.
Section II: COOP Planning Steps
The steps listed below help a court develop a COOP capability in the event of a manmade or natural disaster. Each step includes an explanation of what needs to be done and links to additional resources, if necessary.
Step 1: Initiate the planning processStep 1a: Provide leadership and develop infrastructureStep 1b: Review court’s legal authority in COOP planning and executionStep 1c: Gather information on related COOP planning activitiesStep 1d: Specify planning assumptionsStep 1e: Consider potential disaster scenariosStep 2: Prepare COOP plan elementsStep 2a: Identify & prioritize essential functionsStep 2b: Determine essential functions staffStep 2c: Establish orders of succession and delegate authoritiesStep 2d: Identify alternate facilitiesStep 2e: Identify business practices to limit personal contactStep 2f: Identify communications methodsStep 2g: Ensure interoperable communicationsStep 2h: Identify vital records & databasesStep 2i: Develop resources to manage human capitalStep 2j: Prepare drive-away kitsStep 2k: Plan devolution process
Step 3: Prepare COOP plan proceduresStep 3a: Phase I procedures for COOP plan activationStep 3b: Phase I procedures for alert and notificationStep 3c: Phase I procedures for transition to an alternate facilityStep 3d: Phase II procedures for alternate facility operationsStep 3e: Phase III procedures for reconstitutionStep 3f: Modified procedures for a pandemicStep 4: Complete the plan templateStep 5: Maintain and practice plan
Section III: COOP Plan Worksheets
The following Worksheets are provided to help courts gather information critical to preparing their COOP plan. The Worksheets are linked to various steps discussed under Section II COOP Planning Steps. Worksheets are available for editing by clicking the Microsoft Word icon above. Worksheet A: Determine Essential FunctionsWorksheet B: Priority of Essential FunctionsWorksheet C: Essential Functions StaffWorksheet D: COOP Staff RosterWorksheet E: Orders of Succession and Delegation of AuthoritiesWorksheet F: Contact Information for Key Decision-makers and SuccessorsWorksheet G: Alternate Work Site RequirementsWorksheet H: Alternate Work Site OptionsWorksheet I: Alternate Work Sites by Disaster ScenariosWorksheet J: Potential Strategies to Limit Personal ContactWorksheet K: Strategies to Limit Personal Contact for Each Essential FunctionWorksheet L: Communications PlanWorksheet M: Media ContactsWorksheet N: Interoperability of Communications SystemsWorksheet O: Inventory of Vital RecordsWorksheet P: Restoration ResourcesWorksheet Q: Staff DirectoryWorksheet R: Emergency Contacts for StaffWorksheet S: Emergency Services AvailableWorksheet T: Personnel PoliciesWorksheet U: Drive-Away KitsWorksheet V: Devolution PlanWorksheet W: COOP Plan Testing ProgramWorksheet X: COOP Plan Training ProgramWorksheet Y: COOP Plan Exercise Program
Section IV: COOP Plan Template
This template offers courts a guide for preparing their own continuity of operations (COOP) plan. Each section describes the information that should be included and, in some cases, offers language that can be adapted to fit individual courts. Suggested language is italicized; information to be added by the court is bracketed.Many of the sections require courts to work through several steps and make decisions before the section can be completed. These sections are linked to information and worksheets provided in Continuity of Court Operations: Steps for COOP Planning to help courts in this process.
Section V: Special Topics