By Brandy Goodnoe, Continuity of Operations Specialist
FEMA will participate in Eagle Horizon 2014 on April 1-2, 2014. EH 2014 will be a two-day, full-scale, externally evaluated exercise and is one of the five components of Capstone 2014.
This year, Eagle Horizon is focused on two areas, Continuity of Operations and Reconstitution. Unlike previous years, EH14 will begin with a cold start. Nothing will be prepositioned; everyone will start their work day at their normal work locations. When the continuity level changes in the exercise, FEMA HQ employees will be directed to deploy to the alternate site or possibly telework. Those who have telework agreements should test their telework capabilities and be prepared to transition quickly from the office environment to the telework site.
When most of us think COOP, we prepare for up to 30 days; however, it may be beneficial to prepare for longer duration situations. Depending on the scenario, it may be necessary to leave the area for several months at a moment’s notice. It is beneficial to prepare for a situation like that with essential records backed up, phone cascades available, telework agreements in place, and contacts and resources available.
Objectives for this year’s exercise address Continuity plans, transition to the alternate site, communication and reconstitution. This exercise is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of identifying the gaps in our plans and continue to make improvements and strengthen FEMA’s continuity capability. Everyone is encouraged to think “outside the box” and challenge the status quo; to engage in information sharing and to seek creative ideas that can lead to improved capabilities and flexibilities when normal operations are disrupted.
What can you do?
Everyone has a role in a COOP event; it is imperative to know what your role is. EH 2014 encourages exercise participation to train on continuity capabilities and helps everyone to be more prepared. For EH 2014, all employees should:
- Know your plans
- Have a Family Preparedness Plan (www.ready.gov)
- Know your Continuity POC
- Know your role during Continuity activation
- Ensure you have access to the alternate site, if required
- Update Essential Records
- Ensure you are telework ready, if applicable
We look forward to working together and creating a successful outcome for Eagle Horizon 2014. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact your Continuity POC or the FEMA Branch in NCP at FEMA-NCP-FEMA-Continuity-Branch@fema.dhs.gov.