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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Continuity of Operations

Today’s threat environment has increased the need for comprehensive continuity plans that enable communities and organizations to continue essential functions and provide critical services across a broad spectrum of emergencies when normal operations are disrupted.

The ASPR Office of Incident Command and Control (ICC) leads the Department of Health and Human Services Continuity of Operations (COOP) program. The HHS COOP Program staff provide direction and guidance for continuity planning, exercises, and operational implementation to all departmental Operating and Staff Divisions, and Regional Offices, based on the “Assess, Distribute, and Sustain” methodology. Through the HHS COOP Program staff, HHS and ASPR maintain continuity of operations programs, in accordance with Presidential Policy Directive (PPD)-40, Executive Orders 12656 and 13618, and Federal Continuity Directives (FCDs) 1 and  2.

Through PPD-40, continuity requirements are incorporated into the daily operations of all executive departments and agencies. Continuity planning and preparations in an all-hazards and all-threats environment should be based on the assumption that adequate warning of potential events posing a risk to operations may not be available. Emphasis is placed upon using the existing geographic dispersion of the Federal Government's executive branch. Federal Executive Branch Departments and Agencies have developed continuity plans, including plans and procedures for devolution and reconstitution, with appropriate delegations of authority for leadership and staff in order to increase survivability and maintain performance of essential functions. Risk management principles are applied to ensure that appropriate operational readiness decisions are based on the probability of the occurrence of a catastrophic emergency and its consequences.

  • This page last reviewed: September 20, 2019