MEMA Holds Continuity of Operations Workshop with State Agencies to Support Planning Efforts
Workshop Part of State’s Preparedness Efforts for COVID-19
Reisterstown, Md. (March 3, 2020) — The Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) held a planning workshop today to assist State agencies in the revision and update of their continuity of operations plans (COOP). The planning workshop is part of the State’s continued response to COVID-19.
“Community transmission of COVID-19 has the potential to disrupt the important work of state agencies because of absenteeism and the need for social distancing,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “With this workshop we were able to help agencies review their plans and procedures to ensure they can continue to provide vital services to our residents during a public health emergency.”
Continuity of operations plans are developed to allow for continuation of essential services in spite of disruptions, such as extended loss of power, internet connectivity, loss of facilities, high employee absenteeism, or the need for social distancing. Agencies develop plans that include procedures such as working from alternate locations, finding backup power or internet connectivity, and accommodating increased use of telework or telecommuting.
“While we are looking at this from a state agency perspective, developing COOP plans is important for everyone,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Individuals, businesses, and organizations should always have plans in place, and they should practice their implementation before they are needed. That need is heightened because of the potential disruption from COVID-19.”
State agencies continue to prepare for COVID-19. They began coordinating efforts in early January and will continue to do so as the threat of COVID-19 to Marylanders evolves. Agencies have worked to jointly identify capabilities and develop plans to respond to infectious diseases. Collectively, agencies are leaning forward to not only respond to COVID-19 but also to ensure that they can continue to deliver critical services to the public.