Continuity of Operations Planning FAQs and Definitions

Contents


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Mean Green Ready?

Mean Green Ready is an online program, used to create and manage all continuity of operations plans.

How do I access Mean Green Ready?

To access Mean Green Ready, you must first request authorization from Justin.Stewart@unt.edu. After authorization, Mean Green Ready can be accessed by going to Mean Green Ready log-in page

What is the purpose of having a continuity of operations plan?

The purpose of a continuity of operations plan is to ensure that critical business functions can continue or resume during and after a disaster. 

Does my department need a continuity of operations plan?

While it is recommended that all departments develop a continuity of operations plan, not all are required. Mission Essential Functional Areas (MEFA) are pre-determined divisions that are required to develop and maintain a continuity of operations plan.

Who should be involved in the creation of a continuity of operations plan?

Typically, a staff member with access to senior management is appointed as a liaison. With the help of UNT’s Continuity of Operations Manager, the liaison will develop the department's continuity of operations plan.

How long does it take to create a continuity of operations plan?

Typically, from start to finish, a plan could take three months with assistance and feedback from the Continuity of Operation Program Manager.

What needs to be included in a continuity of operations plan?

Knowing what needs to be included in a plan does not have to be a difficult task. At UNT, departments have access to Mean Green Ready which will take you step-by-step through the process of creating a plan. Once all sections are filled in, the program will consolidate the information into a continuity of operations plan.

How do I know which functions are critical to my department or school?

When thinking of critical functions, think of those functions most necessary for business operations to continue during and after a disaster. If you are a liaison between Emergency Management & Safety Services and your department at UNT, it is important have access to upper-management to ensure all critical functions are listed in your continuity of operations plan.

What is Recovery Time Objective (RTO)?

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is the amount of time in which a function must restore processes before unacceptable consequences may occur.  

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

All continuity of operations questions or Mean Green Ready questions should be directed to the Continuity of Operations Program Manager, Justin Stewart.


Definitions

Action Items – Action Items are an important part of Continuity Planning. The process of thinking through the steps you need to take to prepare, is critical to developing a culture of preparedness. Action Items are things that could be done now (or anytime before disaster strikes) to make your unit more prepared.

All-Hazards – A classification encompassing all conditions, environmental or human-caused, that have the potential to cause injury, illness, or death; damage to or loss of equipment, infrastructure services, or property; or alternatively causing functional degradation to social, economic, or environmental aspects.

Business Impact Analysis (BIA) - A method of identifying the consequences of failing to perform a function or requirement.

Business Process Analysis (BPA) – A method of examining, identifying, and mapping the functional processes, workflows, activities, personnel expertise, systems, data, interdependencies, and alternate locations inherent in the execution of a function or requirement.

Continuity Event – Any event that makes it impossible for employees to work in their regular facility. This can range from a fire in a building, a natural disaster, or a terrorist attack.

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) - An effort within individual organizations to ensure that essential functions continue to be performed during a disruption of normal operations.  

Critical Functions – A subset of organizational functions that are determined to be critical activities. These essential functions are then used to identify supporting tasks and resources that must be included in the organization’s continuity planning process.

Delegation of Authority – Establishes who has the right to make key decisions during a continuity situation.

Dependencies (Downstream) – Downstream Dependencies are the departments that would be seriously impacted if YOUR department could not perform this Critical Function.

Dependencies (Upstream) – Departments (WITHIN your campus, medical center, or other institution) whose reduced functioning would seriously impair your own department's ability to perform this Critical Function.

Emergency Coordination Group - Ensure that emergency policies, support activities, and resources are coordinated among the spectrum of participating organizations.

Mitigation – Activities providing a critical foundation in the effort to reduce the loss of life and property from natural or human-caused disasters by avoiding or lessening the impact of a disaster and providing value to the public by creating safer communities.

Mutual Aid Agreements (MAA) - Arrangements between governments or organizations, either public or private, for reciprocal aid and assistance during emergencies where the resources of a single jurisdiction or organization are insufficient or inappropriate for the tasks that must be performed to control the situation.

National Essential Functions – Select functions necessary to lead and sustain the Nation during a catastrophic emergency and that, therefore, much be supported through COOP, Continuity of Government and ERG capabilities.

Orders of Succession – Essential part of an agency’s and organization’s continuity plan to ensure that agency and organizational personnel know who assumes authority and responsibility if that leadership is incapacitated or becomes otherwise unavailable during a continuity situation.

Preparedness – Actions taken to plan, organize, equip, train, and exercise to build and sustain the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from threats and hazards. 

Prevention – The capabilities necessary to avoid, prevent, or stop a threatened or actual act of terrorism. For the purposes of the prevention framework, the term “prevention” refers to preventing imminent threats.

Reconstitution – The process by which surviving and/or replacement organization personnel resume normal operations. 

Recovery – The implementation of prioritized actions required to return an organization’s processes and support functions to operational stability following a change in normal operations.

Recovery Time Objective – The period of time to recover an essential function's performance if that function has been interrupted. A statement indicating how quickly the essential function will resume if disrupted.