Months of planning and preparation paid off in Powder Springs, Georgia, on October 22, 2019, as the city, in partnership with BOLDplanning, conducted a successful tabletop exercise of its Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan. COOPs, as you well know, establish policies and guidance to ensure critical functions continue in the event of an emergency. They also support the relocation of personnel and resources to an alternate facility, if deemed necessary.

The full-day, low-stress exercise allowed representatives of Powder Springs, including City Manager, Pam Conner; Chief of Police, Tony Bailey; and members of both the City Council and all city departments to work through an escalating mock disaster scenario. The scenario initially centered around a snow event that forced the city to temporarily “shut down,” but later incorporated a train derailment (complete with a chlorine release) and extended city closure. In other words, a worst-case situation.

“Taking an all-hazards approach to COOP planning is an absolute must,” said BOLDplanning Training Manager, Will Minkoff, CBCP, who (along with Brittney Whatley, CBCP) facilitated the days’ activities. “It was great to see the level of effort and creativity put into Powder Springs’ tabletop exercise, as well as the ease by which everyone used the platform to achieve the desired results.”

Special thanks to everyone from the City of Powder Springs, as well as the plan evaluators from Georgia’s Cobb, Douglas and Fulton counties, for making the COOP exercise such a tremendous success. Congratulations!