Continuity planning is a process. While there is no "one-size-fits-all" planning approach, Emergency Management & Safety Services has drafted a list of the basic steps for any unit developing a continuity plan.
Step 1: Identify a Continuity Liaison
A Continuity Liaison guides their department/unit through the continuity planning process. They also serve as the department’s primary point-of-contact for continuity planning related matters. An ideal continuity liaison is a member of unit-leadership or has access to unit leaders.
If you would like to volunteer as a Continuity Liaison or see if your department has a Continuity Liaison, you can contact Emergency.Management@unt.edu.
If you are a Continuity Liaison, visit our Resources page for useful information.
Step 2: Obtain access to Mean Green Ready!
To obtain access to the Mean Green Ready! Continuity Planner, you will need to complete the following steps:
- Email a request for access to Emergency.Management@unt.edu – in your email, please include the following information:
- Your name
- Your department
- Your position
- A brief statement why you are requesting access to the system
You will receive an email from Kuali when you have been added to the system. Additionally, when we receive your request, you will be assigned the Mean Green Ready! Continuity Planner training via UNT Bridge. All persons with access to Mean Green Ready! are expected to complete this training.
- Complete the Mean Green Ready! Continuity Planner training via UNT Bridge
- Download your course certificate upon completion
- Email your course certificate to Emergency.Management@unt.edu
Step 3: Select the best approach for creating the plan
There are several ways to develop a continuity plan. Review the following approaches and determine which is best for your department.
- Team (recommended): Staff meet as a group to write the continuity plan, with UNT’s Mean Green Ready! Continuity Planner projected in a conference or meeting room. This collaborative format improves the plan and ensures your team is better prepared to implement the plan.
- Delegated: Staff with discrete areas of responsibility log into the Mean Green Ready Continuity Planner on their own time and complete the section of the plan they are responsible for.
- Individual: The Continuity Liaison drafts the plan on their own in the Mean Green Ready Continuity Planner, bringing in other staff as needed.
Step 4: Complete the plan
The Mean Green Ready! tool is a simple, self-operated planning system, with a straightforward questionnaire layout with clear guidance text and intuitive navigation. To complete your continuity plan, log into the planner and fill out the requested information to the best of your ability.
In general, the steps for completing a continuity plan involve the following actions:
- Collect basic information about your unit
- Identify your key contacts – who are the people and organizations you would need to communicate with during a disruption?
- Identify your critical functions and how these functions would be performed even amidst a disruption – what actions does your unit need to continue performing during a disruption?
- Identify key resources for the unit – what equipment, tools, facilities, people, skills, etc. are necessary to complete your critical functions?
- Identify your critical information technology – what systems must you have to perform your functions?
- Consider how you would maintain continuity of instruction (if your unit provides instruction) – how will classes be prioritized and provided amidst a disruption?
Step 5: Have the plan approved
When an initial continuity plan is complete, the Continuity Liaison should notify UNT’s Continuity Planner at Emergency.Management@unt.edu. The Continuity Planner will review the plan and provide feedback to the Continuity Liaison, if appropriate. If the plan is ready for implementation, the Continuity Planner will work with the Continuity Liaison to obtain a signed approval letter from unit leadership, indicating the plan is ready for use.
Step 6: Exercise the plan
After receiving plan approval, it is time to exercise the plan! Emergency Management & Safety Services will host a low-stress, discussion-based exercise. This exercise will allow your department to practice the plan, become familiar with its details, and identify any gaps/deficiencies.
Step 7: Update the plan
As the plan is used, lessons are learned, or time passes, the plan will need to be updated. The plan will be reviewed at least annually, with a full update completed every 2 years. On the off year, the department is encouraged to take part in another continuity plan exercise.