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What is Continuity of Operations?

Continuity of operations, or mission continuity, is the practice of planning for interruptions in order to preserve maximum possible service levels. The purpose of mission continuity planning is to maintain and subsequently recover essential services to an operational state within a reasonably short period of time, both during and after an interruption. A mission continuity plan is a snapshot of the normal operations and resources as well as planning for the resources which may be needed in time of disaster.

Why Should I Create a Plan?

Eliminate or reduce the impact of a disaster before a disaster occurs in order to provide a safe and healthy learning environment. The mission continuity planning process also generates interdepartmental communication which brings to attention strengths and weaknesses along with strategies to improve departmental and University-wide operations.

Who is Required to Create a Plan?

The University requires all campus departments to prepare and maintain Tar Heel Mission Continuity plans. Campus departments have discretion as to which organizational level they write their plan. For example, some departments may develop individual plans for each unit or location while others may develop one overall plan. The important thing is that the plan (or plans) is effective, practical and current.

How Do I Create a Plan?

Emergency Management and Planning has purchased continuity software, which has been branded as Tar Heel Mission Ready. Tar Heel Mission Ready is user-friendly software created specifically for higher education. Tar Heel Mission Ready allows the creation, storage, and updating of departmental plans outside the UNC network. The software walks a user through the planning process, including identifying critical functions, analyzing the impact of disruption to those functions, identifying departmental dependencies, documenting key resources, uploading pertinent documents like call trees, generating action items, analyzing information technology resilience and managing a plan over time.

To get started, please complete the User Registration Form. Once your account has been created and access to your plan granted by the Emergency Management team, you will receive a notification email with additional instructions. Our team is available to walk you through the process. Please also refer to the Tools and Resources section of this page for additional assistance, including a user guide and interactive training.