RealNews

Agencies take notice of continuity planning

As FEMA readies governmentwide test, GAO questions agencies’ disaster readiness. More than 2,500 federal employees from 45 agencies next week will test how prepared the government is to stay open if disaster strikes. The Homeland Security Department’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, which still uses the acronym FEMA, will run Exercise Forward Challenge to see how far along agencies are in developing and implementing continuity of operations plans, or COOPs. Agencies are realizing the importance of COOPs just as cybersecurity has become a priority in recent years, and FEMA is keeping a close eye on agency progress. During the exercise, employees will go to alternate work sites outside Washington and then try to hook up to their networks, access e-mail and data files, communicate with other federal officials and perform their usual tasks. Full Story

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