An image for the COOP e-tool

The UMB Office of Emergency Management offers the COOP e-Tool for continuity planning.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) Department of Veterinary Resources is back to business as usual thanks to emergency planning and coordination between several UMB departments. Veterinary Resources lost power in August 2023 for several days, impacting temperature, humidity, lights, and more.

“We had some big operational challenges and we had to do something about it — and fast,” says Hayley Markman, MPA, continuity of operations program manager for the UMB Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

Markman and Haley Cifizzari, MS, emergency management specialist, quickly worked with UMB Operations and Maintenance to identify time-sensitive needs and alternative strategies to ensure the quality care of research animals.

“Our core value set of Innovation and Discovery reinforced our need to think creatively to identify solutions that are practical, realistic, and provide immediate value in accomplishing our mission,” Markman says.

Kristine Spelman, manager, Veterinary Operations and Facility Management, worked with OEM and Operations and Maintenance during the outage.

“OEM was an essential resource, pulling in additional resources to mitigate the effects of the utility outage,” Spelman says. “With the collaborative efforts between Facility Maintenance and OEM, we were able to identify utility gaps and develop a plan to upgrade the infrastructure. OEM was instrumental in developing an emergency continuity plan for Veterinary Resources to safeguard the lives of these animals as well as protect research integrity.”

The ongoing collaboration between teams helped them to identify additional ways to improve continuity in the future. “Kristine has a lot of information in her brain, but it wasn’t written down anywhere,” Cifizzari says. “This process helped us develop action sheets so the department can function independently. Now they don’t have to call Kristine on vacation.”

The project produced immediate results and improved redundancy for Veterinary Resources in case another emergency impacts the department.

When an emergency strikes, having a Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan in place allows departments and units to continue performing the most important and time-sensitive work. These plans build the University’s resiliency, readiness, and redundancy, even during an emergency disruption.

OEM’s new COOP e-Tool helps departments to create their plan and even provide real-time updates, collaboration, and feedback.

Students, faculty, and staff, let your voice be heard!
Submit Your Story.