Department of Military Affairs
Disaster & Emergency Services Division
------------- State of Montana --------------
(406) 841-3911 1900 Williams Street, P.O. Box 4789 Fort Harrison, MT 59636-4789
Final Report: FFY04 Homeland Security Grant
Phase I: Continuity of State Government Operations
In order to ensure that the State of Montana continue to receive Federal Homeland
Security funding, MT-DES embarked on a course of action designed to achieve
endorsement of Montana’s emergency management program through NEMA’s
Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). One of the EMAP standards
in which Montana had been deemed “non-compliant” was in the area of Continuity of
Operations (COOP) planning.
To be fully compliant with the EMAP COOP standard, we originally believed that every
state agency (twenty-seven in all) would have to develop agency specific Continuity of
Operations (COOP) plans. The prospect of completing twenty-seven COOP plans prior
to our EMAP program review in October 2005 was overwhelming. Fortunately, we were
able to ascertain that we could comply with the COOP standard if each of the agencies
identified as having a “Lead” responsibility in the Montana Emergency Coordination
Plan completed their Continuity of Operations plans prior to the EMAP review. That
meant we only had to produce ten (10) COOP plans before October 2005.
Using grant funding from the FYY04 HS Grant Program, we accomplished the following
• Following an extensive period of research and consultation, MT-DES purchased a
web-based software program designed to assist state agencies in the development of
their COOP capabilities. (The Living Disaster Recovery Planning System [LDRPS] was
used successfully by North Dakota to satisfy their EMAP COOP requirements.)
• DOA’s Information Technology Services Division (ITSD) graciously agreed to host and
maintain the LDRPS (Living Disaster Recovery Planning System) software. The
software has been installed and running since mid August of 2005.
• As a part of our purchase agreement, we utilized the technical services of a consultant
from Strohl Systems (the software manufacturer) to assist our COOP implementation
team in setting-up the LDRPS software to meet the specific needs of the State of
• We entered into contractual agreements with two (local) consultants to assist the ten
participating “Lead” agencies. These individuals served as facilitators, working closely
with the agencies to collect pertinent business recovery information, and guide them
through the Continuity of Operations (COOP) planning process.
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• Each of the 10 “Lead” agencies was requested to supply specific information related to
their agency’s: ▪ critical or essential function(s)
▪ staffing and resource requirements
▪ mission critical systems
▪ vital files, records or database(s)
▪ alternate facility needs
- CADRE Inc. was hired to assist with data collection and entry into LDRPS for the
- Department of Public Health & Human Services
- Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks
- Department of Livestock
- BIG SKY HAZARD MANAGEMENT, LLC was assigned to perform those same
- Department of Environmental Quality
- Department of Justice
- Department of Natural Resources & Conservation
- Department of Transportation
- Montana DES handled those responsibilities for Disaster & Emergency Services
and the Governor’s Office. ITSD and GSD were responsible for the Department of
- The desired final product of these efforts was the generation of agency specific
Continuity of Operations (COOP) plans using the LDRPS software.
• Following is an approximate timeline for the accomplishment of these activities.
July 2005 - MT-DES purchases LDRPS software
August 12, 2005 - Initial meeting of ECP Planners from the (10) Lead Agencies
August 15, 2005 - Agencies begin review of the "Critical Information" submitted in 2003
- Establish contacts with key personnel within each agency (i.e., those who
understand the critical services and/or functions the agency performs)
- Educate them about our COOP planning effort and their importance in
August 15 - 19, 2005 - MT-DES briefs ECP Planners from Gov's Office, DPHHS, Justice and
DNRC Fire (those who weren’t able to participate on 8/12)
August 19, 2005 - MT-DES finalizes contractual arrangements with contractors
August 15 - 31, 2005 - Contractors begin on-line training for LDRPS
August 23 - 25, 2005 - Initial set-up of LDRPS (Strohl Systems) software with Montana COOP
Team and Strohl Systems consultant
August 27, 2005 - Deadline for establishing a schedule for agency personnel to meet with
September 1, 2005 - Consultants begin COOP planning process with 10 Lead Agencies
** MT-DES response to Hurricane Katrina resulted in a two-month delay in conducting our
scheduled EMAP program review
November 30, 2005 - 1st phase of COOP planning ends (data entry completed)
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December 5, 2005 - publish copies of the COOP Plans for each of the ten (10) Lead Agencies
- incorporate those plans into Montana's Continuity of Government Plan
December 6 - 8, 2005 - EMAP evaluators assess Montana's compliance with EMAP's COG /
December 8, 2005 - EMAP assessors recommend full accreditation for Montana’s emergency
management program. (Final action on that recommendation is expected
in early Feb. 2006.)
January 10 - 13, 2006 - Agency COOP coordinators attend LDRPS Basic Training conducted by
Strohl Systems (under contract to the State of Montana via DES).
- Training provided in anticipation of rolling–out the LDRPS program for
use and updating by the ten “Lead” agencies.
February 09, 2006 - National Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP)
officially accredited Montana’s Emergency Management Program thereby
insuring continued Federal Preparedness funding for the State of Montana.
• Beginning in September of 2005 (and continuing), the Governor’s office was
instrumental in establishing a COOP Steering Committee. The committee has been
actively involved in directing Montana’s COOP planning efforts. Lots of issues
regarding COOP planning and the continued use of the LDRPS software remain
unanswered (i.e., “unfunded”).
- When will agencies be given access to the software? Which agencies?
- How will we provide continued software and end-user support?
- How will we create the appropriate security packages? And Plan Assistants?
- How and/or when should we make this software available to local and tribal
Agencies that have yet to be involved in the state’s COOP planning efforts:
Aeronautics State Auditor
Agriculture State Fund
Commerce State Library
Corrections Office of Public Instruction
Judicial Branch Public Service Regulation
Labor & Industry Revenue
Legislative Branch Secretary of State
Military Affairs University System
• A financial summary of FFY04 HS Grant activities is attached.
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