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Page Number





1-1 Purpose.                               1-1

1-2 Background                             1-1

1-3 Applicability and Scope.               1-1

1-4 Authorities                                 1-2

1-5 References                             1-2

1-6 Definitions                                 1-3

CHAPTER 2: RESOPNSIBILITIES                     2.1

2-1 General                                2-1

2-2 Responsibilities.                      2-2

CHAPTER 3: PLANNING PRINCIPLES                  3.1

3-1 Planning Guidance                      3-1

3-2 Plans and Procedures                   3-1

3-3 Identification of Essential Functions  3-1

3-4 Delegations of Authority               3-2

3-5 Orders of Succession                   3-2

3-6 Alternate Facilities                   3-3

3-7 Interoperable Communications           3-4

3-8 Vital Records and Databases            3-4

3-9 Test, Training, and Exercise           3-4







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1-1 Purpose.   This Handbook implements the following Federal Preparedness Circulars (FPC): FPC 65, Federal Executive Branch Continuity of Operations (COOP), dated July 26, 1999; FPC 66, Test, Training, and Exercise (TT&E) Program for Continuity of Operations (COOP), dated April 30, 200 I; and FPC 67, Acquisition of Alternate Facilities for Continuity of Operations (COOP), dated April 30, 2001. These FPCs "provide policy and guidance:

  1. To ensure the execution of essential functions in the event that emergency relocation of any department or agency organizational element is required.
  2. For the development of a viable and executable TT &E program to support the implementation and validation of COOP plans.
  3. For the acquisition of alternate facilities to support COOP.
  4. To have in place a comprehensive and effective program to ensure the continuity of essential Federal functions under all circumstances.

With the information contained in this handbook, HUD organizations have guidance for COOP for use in developing and updating COOP plans.

1-2 Background.   Presidential Decision Directive (PDD) 67 established the requirement that all Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies have in place a comprehensive and effective program to ensure the continuity of essential Federal functions under any circumstances. As a baseline of preparedness for the full range of potential emergencies, all HUD organizations must have in place viable COOP plans and procedures that ensure the continuity of performance of essential functions during any emergency or situation that may disrupt normal operations.

1-3 Applicability and Scope. The provisions of this Handbook are applicable to all principal organizations in HUD Headquarters, as well as Regional and Field Offices.




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1-4   Authorities.

A. The National Security Act of 1947, dated July 26, 1947, as amended.

B. Executive Order (EO) 13243, Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, dated December 18,2001, as amended.

C. EO 12656, Assignment of Emergency Preparedness Responsibilities, dated November 18, 1988, as amended.

D. EO 12472, Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Telecommunications Functions, dated April 3, 1984.

E. PDD 67, Enduring Constitutional Government and Continuity of Government Operations, dated October 21, 1998.

1-5 References.

A. PDD 62, Protection Against Unconventional Threats to the Homeland and Americans Overseas, dated May 22, 1998.

B. PDD 63, Critical Infrastructure Protection, dated May 22, 1998.

C. Presidential Memorandum dated March 19, 2002, Continuation of Order of Succession \ dated December 18,2002.

D. FPC 60, Continuity of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government at the Headquarters Level During National Security Emergencies, dated November 20, 1990.

E. Title 41 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 101.20.003, Definitions, and Section 101.20.103-4, Occupant Emergency Program, revised as of July 1,2000.

F. Title 36 CFR, Part 1236, Management of Vital Records, revised as of July 1, 2000.

G. FPC 65, Federal Executive Branch Continuity of Operations (COOP), dated July 26, 1999.

H. FPC 66, Test, Training and Exercise Program for Continuity of Operations (COOP), dated April 30, 2001.

I. FPC 67, Acquisition of Alternate Facilities for Continuity of Operations (COOP), dated April 30,2001.

J. Continuity of Operations Plan for HUD Headquarters, dated June 2002.

K. Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) for the HUD Regional Offices and Field Offices dated July 2002




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1-6 Definition of Terms.

Continuity of Operations (COOP).   An organization's internal efforts to ensure that a viable capability exists to continue essential functions across a wide range of potential emergencies.  COOP plans and procedures delineate essential functions, specify succession to office and the emergency delegation of authority, provide for the safekeeping of vital records and databases, identify alternate operating facilities, provide for interoperable communications, and validate the capability through tests, training, and exercises.

COOP Coordinator. The individual in a Headquarters organization, Regional Office or Field Office designated to coordinate all COOP plan development, test, training, and exercise (TT &E), and plan implementation activities.

Continuity of Operations (COOP} Plan. A plan that provides for the continuity of essential functions of an organization in the event an emergency prevents occupancy of its primary building or other occupied space.

COOP Emergency Relocation Group (CERG). Pre-designated Headquarters (HQ), Regional, and Field Office management officials and staff, who will move to an Emergency Relocation Site (ERS) to continue HUD essential functions in the event a HUD building and/or other occupied space is threatened or incapacitated. The CERG is comprised of Initial Relocation Staff (IRS) plus Full Relocation Staff (FRS).

COOP Event. Emergencies, or potential emergencies, that may affect a department's or agency's ability to carry out its essential functions.

Coordinator, Emergency Relocation Site (CERS).  The individual at a HUD emergency relocation site (ERS) responsible for the coordination and support of the CERG deployment at an ERS.

Devolution.  The transfer of essential functions, as the result of a COOP event, to another organizational entity (i.e. person, office, or organization, etc.) geographically located outside the threatened or incapacitated area.

Drive-Away Kit. An easily transported set of materials, technology, and vital records that will be required to establish and maintain minimum essential operations.

Emergency Relocation Site (ERS).  An existing HUD facility or external sources to house the CERG and enable the continuation of HUD essential functions in the event a HUD building and/or other occupied space is threatened or incapacitated.

Essential Functions.  Those functions that enable Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies to provide vital services, exercise civil authority, maintain the safety and well being of the general populace, and sustain the industrial/economic base during an emergency.




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Full Relocation Staff (FRS).  The management officials and staff members of the COOP CERG responsible for the execution of essential functions.  Initial Relocation Staff (IRS) plus FRS constitute a complete CERG.

HUD Emergency Operations Center (HEOC).  The entity responsible for receiving and communicating HUD guidance and direction during the activation and relocation phases of a COOP emergency.

Initial Relocation Staff (IRS).  CERG personnel who are the first to deploy to an Emergency Relocation Site (ERS) upon receiving a COOP warning or activation. These individuals initiate actions at the ERS in preparation for the arrival of the FRS.

Primary Organization Head (POH).  The senior representative of a principal HUD organizational element (i.e. Assistant Secretary, Director, Chief, etc.).

Test, Training, and Exercise (TT&E).




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2-1 General.  The following responsibilities guide development of HUD COOP plans:

  1. The Secretary has overall responsibility for the development of viable and executable contingency plans for COOP.
  2. The Assistant Secretary for Administration has the lead in COOP development and planning for the Department.
  3. Each Headquarters COOP Coordinator is responsible for development and maintenance of a current COOP Implementation Plan for his/her office that identifies its essential functions and the individuals needed to support them, consistent with the guidance provided by this handbook and FPC 65.
  4. Regional Directors are responsible for development of a Regional Office COOP plan and oversight of the development of all Field Office COOP plans within their jurisdiction.
  5. Field Office Directors are responsible for development of Field Office COOP plans.

F.      Regional and Field Office Program Directors are responsible for providing all required information and support to their Regional Directors and Field Office Directors in all phases of COOP plan development, test, training, and exercise, and plan implementation. They must ensure appropriate coordination with the COOP Coordinators in their respective Headquarters program office.

G.     The Secretary, Regional Directors, and Field Office Directors are responsible for executing their respective COOP plans.

H.     The Directors, Administrative Service Centers (ASC) and Directors, Administrative Resource Divisions (ARD), are responsible for providing direct support to the Regional and Field Office COOP Coordinators in developing those portions of the COOP plans falling within Administration' s area of responsibility. These include: space, furniture, office supplies and equipment, building security, telecommunications, data systems, information technology and connectivity, procurement, transportation, lodging, and general administrative support.

I.        Administration and Information Technology (IT) staffs assigned to Field Offices are, responsible for assisting Field Office Directors and Regional Office COOP Coordinators in identifying and addressing all Administration and IT resources required for developing a viable Field Office COOP plan.






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2-2 Responsibilities.

  1. The Assistant Secretary for Administration's Office of Security will:
    1. Serve as the lead in planning the HUD COOP program.
    2. 2. Develop and maintain the HUD HQ COOP Plan.
    3. Maintain copies of Headquarters COOP Implementation plans.
    4. Coordinate the annual review/update of COOP plans.
    5. Coordinate the development of COOP plans and procedures that will enable designated Regional Offices to temporarily assume HUD HQ duties.
    6. Provide technical assistance, as necessary, to the ASCs, local Administration staff, and Regional and Field Office COOP Coordinators in developing their COOP plans.
    7. Maintain copies of Regional Office COOP plans.
    8. Develop a HUD COOP Test, Training and Exercise (TT &E) program.
    9. Develop COOP notification procedures for disseminating instructions regarding COOP.
    10. Schedule and conduct periodic training and exercises related to the execution of HUD COOP plans.
    11. Conduct periodic assessments of HUD COOP capabilities to include exercises, emergency notifications, and evaluations.
    12. Coordinate HUD COOP security, safety, and health requirements.
    13. 13. Provide guidance on the management of vital HUD records.
    14. Coordinate the development of plans and schedules for the orderly transition of all HUD essential functions, personnel, equipment, and vital records from an ERS to a new or restored HUD HQ facility.

B. Assistant Secretaries, Regional Directors, and Field Office Directors will, as applicable:

1.  Appoint a COOP Coordinator for coordinating development and implementation of COOP plans and keeping the Office of Special Actions or the Regional Director, as appropriate, informed of any changes in the designation of the COOP Coordinator.

2.  Identify essential functions and update as necessary.



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3. Implement a Family Assistance Plan to provide CERG members advice on what to do if the COOP Plan is implemented and the CERG is deployed to an alternate location.


4. Consider the professional qualifications and personal situations in selecting CERG members and other employees necessary for a COOP activation. Identified employees should be physically and emotionally capable of working in a high stress environment with austere support facilities.


5. Coordinate the development of COOP plans and procedures that will enable designated Regional Offices to temporarily assume Headquarters duties and responsibilities.


6. Pre-delegate authorities for making operational decisions, policy, and other determinations.


7. Maintain a current roster of CERG members, designating both IRS and FRS.


8. Maintain current personnel COOP notification rosters.

9. Ensure that all CERG members understand HUD COOP plan procedures, and staff not identified as CERG members understand their responsibilities. The official status of non-CERG staff will be determined by the circumstances requiring HUD COOP plan implementation.

10. Prepare backup copies and/or updates of vital records.

11. Designate alternate facilities as part of their COOP plan.

12. Designate personnel responsible for compiling and maintaining a drive-away kit, if necessary.

13. To the extent possible, pre-position drive-away kits and other essential equipment, supplies, and materials at an ERS.

14. Develop, initiate, and conduct TT&E that tests the COOP notification plan quarterly, with and without warning, and during duty and non-duty hours.

15. Train all CERG members and ensure their knowledge and skills are current.

16. Identify and incorporate lessons learned/remedial action plans into annual revisions of the COOP plan.

17. Conduct periodic coordination visits to the ERS.

18. Ensure provisions for the completion of time and attendance functions by one or more CERG members.





19. Consider, as a result of a COOP event, transferring essential Headquarters, Regional Office or Field Office functions to another HUD organizational entity (person, organization, or office) geographically located outside of the threatened or incapacitated area.

20. Regional Directors may assign responsibility to there Deputy Regional Director and/or Regional Office COOP Coordinator a broad range of COOP planning and implementation activities. However, the decision to implement the Regional Office COOP plan must be retained by the Regional Director, unless he/she is unavailable or unable to exercise this authority.

C. The Chief Technology Officer will:

1. Coordinate the development of COOP IT plans that detail the transition of critical HUD COOP computers, and information and data systems requirements from a HUD organizational element to an ERS and from an ERS to a reconstituted facility.

2. Provide guidance on access to essential HUD COOP data systems at an ERS.

3. Develop and maintain disaster recovery plans for HUD information systems.




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3-1 Planning Guidance.  COOP planning will vary, depending upon the size and responsibilities of the office, and the opportunity for devolving essential functions to other organizations and locations. All COOP plans will include the critical components described in this chapter.

3-2 Plans and Procedures.  COOP Plans shall be developed and documented by Headquarters, and each Regional Office and Field-Office. Each Headquarters primary organization shall develop its own COOP Implementation Plan. When implemented, these plans will provide for the continued performance of HUD essential functions. At a minimum, COOP plans should:

  1. Delineate HUD organizational essential functions and activities;
  2. Outline a decision-making process for determining appropriate actions in implementing HUD COOP plans and procedures;
  3. Establish a roster of fully equipped and trained HUD CERG members, designated as IRS or FRS, with the authority to perform essential functions and activities;
  4. Include procedures for HUD employee advisories, alerts, and COOP plan activation, with instructions for relocation to pre-designated facilities, with and without warning, and during duty and non-duty hours;
  5. Provide for personnel accountability throughout the duration of the emergency;

F.      Provide for attaining operational capability within 12 hours of COOP plan activation;

G.     Establish reliable processes and procedures to acquire resources necessary to continue essential functions and sustain operations for up to 30 days of COOP plan implementation.

3-3 Identification of Essential Functions.  All HUD organizational elements should identify their essential functions as the basis for COOP planning and include them in their COOP plans. Essential functions are those functions that enable HUD organizational elements to provide vital services, exercise civil authority, maintain the safety and well being of the general populace, and sustain the industrial/economic base in an emergency. In identifying essential functions, HUD organizational elements should:




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A.     Identify all functions perfom1ed by HUD organizational elements, then determine which are deemed essential and must be continued under any circumstances;

B.     Prioritize these essential functions;

C.     Establish CERG staffing and resource requirements needed to perform essential functions;

D.     Identify mission critical data and systems necessary for a CERG to conduct essential. Functions;

E.      Defer functions not deemed essential to immediate agency needs until additional personnel and resources become available;

F.      Integrate supporting activities to ensure that essential functions can be perfom1ed as efficiently as possible during emergency relocation.

3-4 Delegations of Authority.  To ensure rapid response to any emergency situation requiring a HUD COOP plan implementation, HUD organizational elements should pre-delegate authorities for making policy determinations and operational decisions. These delegations of authority should:

  1. Identify the programs and administrative authorities needed for effective operations at all organizational levels having emergency responsibilities;
  2. Identify the circumstances under which the authorities would be exercised;
  3. Document the necessary authorities at all points where emergency actions may be required, delineating the limits of authority and accountability;
  4. State explicitly the authority of designated successors to exercise organizational direction, including any exceptions, and the successor's authority to re-delegate functions and activities, as appropriate;
  5. Indicate the circumstances under which delegated authorities would become effective and when they would terminate. These pre-detem1ined delegations of authority generally take effect when nom1al channels of direction are disrupted and would tem1inate when these channels have been restored;
  6. Ensure that officials who are expected to assume authorities in an emergency are trained to carry out their emergency duties;
  7. Specify responsibilities and authorities of individual organizational representatives designated to participate as members of interagency emergency response teams.

3-5 Orders of Succession.  All HUD organizational elements are responsible for establishing, promulgating, and maintaining orders of succession to key positions. Such orders of succession are an essential part of a COOP plan. Lines of succession should be maintained




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by all HUD organizational elements reporting to the Secretary to ensure the continuity of essential functions. Succession should be provided to a minimum depth of three at any point where policy and operational functions are carried out. All HUD organizational elements should:

  1. Establish an order of succession to the position of organizational element head;
  2. Establish orders of succession to other key organizational element leadership positions; C. Identify any limitation of authority based on delegations of authority to others;
  3. Describe orders of succession by positions or titles, rather than names of individuals; E. Include the orders of succession in the organizational element's vital records;
  4. Revise orders of succession as necessary, and distribute revised versions promptly as changes occur;
  5. Establish the rules and procedures designated officials are to follow when facing the issues of succession to office in emergency situations;
  6. Include in succession procedures the conditions under which succession will take place, method of notification, and any temporal, geographical, or organizational limitations of authorities;
  7. Assign successors, to the extent possible, among the~ emergency teams established to perform essential functions, to ensure that each team has an equitable share of duly constituted leadership;
  8. Conduct orientation programs to prepare successors for their emergency duties.

3-6 Alternate Facilities.  All HUD organizational elements will designate an emergency relocation site (ERS) as part of their COOP plans, and prepare their personnel for the possibility of an unannounced relocation of a CERG. An ERS may be identified from existing HUD facilities or external sources. FPC 67 contains detailed planning guidance on the acquisition of alternate facilities for COOP. As a minimum, an ERS should provide:

  1. Immediate capability to perform essential functions under various threat conditions, including threats involving weapons of mass destruction.
  2. Sufficient space and equipment to sustain the relocating CERG. Since the need to relocate may occur without warning, or access to normal operating facilities may be denied, HUD organizational elements are encouraged to pre-position and maintain minimum essential equipment for continued operations at an ERS.
  3. Interoperable communications with all identified essential internal and external organizations, critical customers, and the public.



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  1. Reliable logistical support, services, systems, and infrastructure, including water, electrical power, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning  (HVAC), etc.
  2. Ability to sustain operations for a period of up to 30 days after COOP plan activation.
  3. Consideration for the health, safety, and emotional well being of relocated CERG members.
  4. Appropriate physical security and access controls.
  5. Access to HUD critical systems.


3- 7 Interoperable Communications.  The success of HUD organizational elements operations at an ERS is absolutely dependent upon the availability and redundancy of critical communications systems to support connectivity to internal HUD organizations, other agencies, critical customers, and the public. When identifying communications requirements, HUD organizational elements should take maximum advantage of the entire spectrum of communications media likely to be available in any emergency situation.  These services may include, but are not limited to secure and/or non-secure voice, fax, and data connectivity, Internet access, and e-mail. Interoperable communications should provide:

  1. Capability commensurate with the organizational element's essential functions and activities;
  2. Ability to communicate with CERG staff, management, and other organizational components;
  3. Ability to communicate with HUD HQ, other agencies, and emergency personnel; and
  4. Access to data and systems necessary to conduct essential activities and functions.

3-8 Vital Records and Databases.  The protection and ready availability of electronic and hardcopy documents, references, records, and information systems needed to support HUD essential functions under the full spectrum of emergencies is a critical element of a successful COOP plan. HUD personnel must have access to and be able to use these records and systems in conducting their essential functions. Categories of these types of records are:

A. Emergency Operating Records. Vital records, regardless of media, essential to the continued functioning or reconstitution of an organization during and after an emergency. Included are emergency plans and directives, orders of succession, delegations of authority, staffing assignments, and related records of a policy or procedural nature that provide agency staff with guidance and information resources necessary for conducting operations during an emergency, and for resuming formal operations at its conclusion.



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B. Legal and Financial Records. Vital records, regardless of media, critical to carrying out an organization's essential legal and financial functions and activities, and protecting the legal and financial rights of individuals directly affected by its activities. Included are records having such value that their loss would significantly impair the conduct of essential agency functions to the detriment of the legal or financial rights or entitlements of the organization or of the affected individuals. Examples of this category of vital records are accounts receivable, contracting and acquisition files, official personnel files, Social Security, payroll, retirement and insurance records, and property management and inventory records.

C. Essential Function Records.  HUD organizational element COOP plans should account for identification and protection of vital records, systems, and data management software and equipment, to include classified or sensitive data as applicable, necessary to perform essential functions and activities, and to reconstitute normal agency operations after the emergency. To the extent possible, HUD organizational elements should pre-position and update on a regular basis duplicate records and/or back-up electronic files at an ERS.

3-9 Test, Training, and Exercise (TT &E).  TT&E of COOP capabilities are essential to demonstrating and improving the ability of HUD organizational elements to execute their COOP plans.   FPC 66 contains detailed planning guidance on TT&E for COOP. The HUD COOP TT&E Program develops, implements, and institutionalizes a comprehensive, all- hazards program to improve the ability of HUD to effectively manage and execute its COOP plans. The HUD TT&E Program incorporates the three functional areas of testing systems and equipment, training personnel, and exercising plans and procedures.

    1. Objectives of the HUD COOP TT&E Program are to:

1.       Validate COOP plans, policies, and procedures;

2.       Ensure that all HUD personnel are familiar with COOP notification and deployment procedures;

3.       Ensure that the appropriate HUD personnel are sufficiently trained to carry out HUD essential functions when deployed at an ERS or working in a COOP environment;

4.       Exercise procedures by deploying CERG personnel and equipment to an ERS to ensure the ability to perform HUD's essential functions at the alternate facility are sufficient, complete, and current;

5.       Ensure that backup data and records required to support essential functions at the ERS are sufficient, complete, and current; and,

6.       Test and validate equipment to ensure both internal and external interoperability; and,





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7.       Ensure that the appropriate HUD personnel understand the procedures to phase down COOP operations and transition to normal activities when appropriate.

B.     Training will familiarize CERG members with the essential functions they may have to perform in an emergency. Tests and exercises will validate or identify for subsequent correction specific aspects of HUD COOP plans, policies, procedures, systems, and facilities used in response to an emergency situation. Periodic testing will ensure that equipment and procedures are maintained in a constant state of readiness. All HUD organizational elements shall plan and conduct tests and training to demonstrate viability and interoperability of their COOP plans. COOP TT &E plans should provide for:

1.       Individual and team training of HUD CERG members to ensure they have current knowledge and integration of skills necessary to implement COOP plans and carry out essential functions. Team training should be conducted at least annually for CERG members on their respective COOP responsibilities.

2.       Internal testing and exercising of COOP plans and procedures to ensure the ability to perform essential functions and operate from an ERS. This testing and exercising should occur at least annually.

3.       Testing of HUD organizational element emergency notification procedures and systems for any type of emergency at least quarterly.

4.        Orientation for HUD CERG members arriving at an ERS. The orientation should cover the support and services available at the facility, including communications and information systems for exchanging information if the normal operating facility is still functioning; and administrative matters, including supervision, security, and personnel policies.