VDEM’s State Planning Assistance Branch offers guidance and support to Virginia’s executive branch agencies and institutions of higher education as they develop, refine and test their continuity plans.

State Continuity Planning Resources

VDEM Continuity Plan Template [234 kb docx]

VDEM Guide to Identifying Mission Essential Functions [316 kb pdf]

Mission Essential Function Identification Worksheets [18 kb docx]

The worksheets from the Guide to Identifying Mission Essential Functions are provided in Word format here so they may be filled in electronically.

For more information, please contact:

Donna M. Pletch
Strategic Planning Branch Chief
(804) 674-2426

Local Planning

Local Government COOP Resources

Pandemic Influenza COOP Annex 


Additional Information

Continuity of Operations (COOP) ensures the stability 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 capabilities and plans at the local, state and federal levels.

Virginia Code § 44-146.18 places VDEM in charge of providing guidance and assistance to state agencies and local governments in developing and maintaining COOP programs, plans and systems.

Executive Order 41 (2011) requires that each executive branch agency, including institutions of higher education with guidance from their Emergency Coordination Officer, follow these steps:

  1. Create or update Continuity of Operations Plans to conform to the template produced by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and
  2. Utilize the resources available from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management for creating or updating Continuity of Operations Plans.

The process of creating or updating Continuity of Operations Plans shall be completed by April 1 of each year, with an electronic copy sent to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.