Program Description


The County of Santa Clara Continuity of Operations/Continuity of Government Planning Program was developed with the goal of providing the County government with the resources needed to achieve a COOP/COG capability. This program is based upon the federal COOP model, as presented in the Federal Preparedness Circular #65, the Department of Homeland Security’s COOP documents, and the State of California’s Standardized Emergency Management System.


Continuity of Operations (COOP) and Continuity of Government (COG) planning ensure the continuation of essential functions through a wide range of emergencies and disasters. Today’s changing threat environment and recent natural and man-made emergencies demonstrate the need for COOP/COG capabilities and plans at the local, state, and federal levels.

COOP and COG are defined as follows:

  • Continuity of Operations – an effort within departments and agencies to ensure the continued performance of minimum essential functions during a wide range of potential emergencies. Essentially, it is the capability of maintaining the business of government under all eventualities. This is accomplished through the development of plans, comprehensive procedures, and provisions for alternative facilities. Personnel, resources, interoperable communications, and vital records/databases.
  • Continuity of Government – the preservation, maintenance, or reconstitution of the institution of government. It is the ability to carry out an organization’s constitutional responsibilities. This accomplished through succession of leadership, the pre-delegation of emergency authority and active command and control.

The following eleven planning elements of COOP and COG form the structure of the planning program:

  1. Emergency concepts, actions, and procedures provided in emergency plans and emergency action plans.
  2. Identification and prioritization of essential functions.
  3. Line of succession to essential positions required during an emergency
  4. Delegation of authority and pre-delegation of emergency authorities to key officials.
  5. Emergency operations cents, alternate facilities, and alternate emergency operations centers.
  6. Interoperable communications.
  7. Protection of government resources.
  8. Safeguarding of vital records and databases.
  9. Test, training, and exercises.
  10. Devolution of control and direction.
  11. Reconstitution operations.



  • COOP/COG Guidance (pdf)

    Complete Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government – COOP/COG Guidance (4 pages).

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