National Continuity Programs

  • National Continuity Programs
    • FEMA
    • Eric B. Kretz, National Continuity of Operations Division
    • 24 slides
    • Public
    • May 1, 2008

Continuity programs provide the foundation for Enduring Constitutional Government (NSPD-51/HSPD-20) and the Nation’s First Essential Function, “Ensure the continued functioning of our form of government under the Constitution, including the functioning of the three separate branches of government.”

NSPD-51/HSPD-20 Purpose

“This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a
single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes “National Essential Functions,” prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.”

“Continuity requirements shall be incorporated into daily operations of all executive departments and agencies. As a result of the asymmetric threat environment, adequate warning of potential emergencies that could pose a significant risk to the homeland might not be available, and therefore all continuity planning shall be based on the assumption that no such warning will be received. Emphasis will be placed upon geographic dispersion of leadership, staff, and infrastructure in order to increase survivability and maintain uninterrupted Government Functions. Risk management principles shall be applied to ensure that appropriate operational readiness decisions are based on the probability of an attack or other incident and its consequences.”

NSPD-51/HSPD-20 Provisions
• Integrates COOP, COG and ECG under a single continuity umbrella
• Designates White House lead on coordination of continuity policy
development and implementation
• Directs OMB assessment of continuity funding requests and requires
reconciliation with performance data
• Directs emphasis on geographic dispersions of leadership, resources and
• Biennial external evaluations of departmental program readiness
• Identifies continuity communications requirements
• Requires development and implementation performance metrics for continuity
• Integrates federal continuity plans and programs with state and local continuity
plans and programs
• Requires implementation of departmental TT&E program and cycle

Readiness Exercises
-Quiet Strategy (Single Agency Tabletop)
-Quiet Sentinel (Single Agency Deployment)
-Quiet Strength (Single Agency Full-Scale)
-Determined Challenge (Multi-agency Tabletop)
-Horizon Eagle (Forward Challenge, Multi-agency Full-Scale)
-Steadfast Response (Regional Tabletop)
-Steadfast Accord (Regional Pandemic Tabletop)
-Determined Accord (Multi-agency Pandemic Tabletop)
-Vigilant Strategy (Devolution Tabletop)
-Vigilant Sentinel (Devolution Functional)


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