Like other local governments across the country, the County of San Benito, California, understands the need for a current and actionable continuity of operations (COOP) plan. Earlier this year, the county chose BOLDplanning, a division of Agility, as its partner in preparedness and kicked off a series of COOP planning workshops. Over 50 participants representing various county departments participated, and all were introduced to the platform. (It’s the solution of choice for 10,000+ continuity, emergency, and hazard mitigation plans nationwide.)

Since that time, and as evidenced by a comprehensive plan review late last month (August 2022), San Benito County has made tremendous progress toward its plan’s development. Once-cumbersome COOP-related documents, data, and processes have been consolidated into the platform and are now easily accessible 24/7/365. The result: 30 departmental plans, including education, agriculture, corrections, and the Hollister Fire Department, all of which feed into San Benito County’s overarching COOP plan. 

A COOP plan, as you know, details how organizations will maintain critical services during incidents with the potential to disrupt normal operations. These may include natural disasters, power outages, wildfires, and employee absenteeism, among other things. 

The plan review process, which took place remotely over four days, was spearheaded by BOLDplanning representative and subject matter expert Amy Eagon. She, as anticipated, assessed the plan’s viability in several key areas and made recommendations for improvement. Among them, and as required, were: 

  • Essential functions
  • Delegations of authority
  • Succession planning
  • Alternate facilities
  • Communications
  • Vital records and databases
  • Human capital
  • A test, training, and exercise program 
  • Plans for devolution and reconstitution

According to Amy, plan participants were very responsive to the results of the review and are now actively engaged in making the suggested edits and additions. BOLDplanning will continue to support the county with its COOP planning efforts in the months ahead, including additional platform training and plan reviews when (and if) needed. 

On behalf of everyone at BOLDplanning, congratulations to everyone on a job well done. Keep up the great work! Also, special thanks to Kris Mangano, Emergency Services Manager for the County of San Benito, for overseeing the project. 

Unfamiliar with San Benito County? It’s located in California’s Central Coast region, 130 miles south of San Francisco. The population, as of the 2020 Decennial Census, was 64,209, and the county was ranked as the 35th largest in the state by total land area (1,388.7 square miles). Some of the cities and towns in San Benito County are Hollister, the county seat; Tres Pinos; Paicines; and New Idria. Five California counties border San Benito County: Santa Clara (north/northwest), Merced (northeast), Fresno (east/southeast), Monterey (southwest/west), and Santa Cruz (northwest).