Business Continuity Planning (BCP)

What is a BCP?

Yale University’s mission is to create, preserve and disseminate knowledge. Each college, division, and major administrative unit within the University exists in support of this mission. Each area performs functions that are essential to the ongoing success of the mission. A Business Continuity Plan (previously referred to as Continuity of Operations Planning or COOP) focuses on these essential functions. It is a collection of resources, actions, procedures, and information that is developed, tested, and held in readiness for use in the event of a major disruption of operations. Business Continuity Planning helps prepare Yale University units to maintain mission-critical operations after any emergency or disaster.

Purpose of BCP Planning

  • Provide for continued performance of essential departmental functions under all circumstances
  • Ensure survivability of critical equipment, records and other assets
  • Minimize business damage and losses
  • Achieve orderly response and recovery from incidents
  • Ensure succession of key leadership
  • Serve as foundation for Yale’s overall Business Continuity Program
  • Assure survivability of Yale University in most severe events

What does this mean for my department?

Department heads are responsible for ensuring that their units have Business Continuity Plans in place, and that all persons—including faculty, staff, and students—are familiar with the plan.  Your BCP is an adjunct to the University Business Continuity Plan. Together they provide the overall Business Continuity Management for the entire campus.

Where do I go from here?

1) Review the rest of this site, but start with the BCP Quick Start Guide. Your first step will be to define your department's essential functions and then the human and material resources that support them.

2) Then, you will want to start using the on-line BCP application. To do so, e-mail Steve Woods, Business Continuity Manager at  and request access.

Go to Archer BCP Application

Go to COOP Application

Support Documents- will be updated soon

  1. BCP Quick Start Guide
  2. Guide for Laboratories

Guidance for Laboratories and Clinical Staff

The following might be considered as advice to laboratories and clinical staff, during a hazardous weather event.

  • Researchers and clinicians should take the possibility of a power outage into consideration as they plan procedures, experiments, and staffing during hazardous weather events. Consider avoiding or postponing new work with hazardous materials until the storm has passed. 
  • Be sure that all chemical bottles and reagent containers are capped to minimize vapor contamination in the event of power outage.
  • Lower fume hood sashes and ensure that no open materials are left inside.
  • Turn off all non-essential laboratory equipment, including computers and lights. 
  • If the power does go out, do not move freezers or refrigerators.  Instead, keep them closed tightly so that they will retain their cold as long as possible.  Vulnerable samples should be moved to CO2 or liquid nitrogen backed up freezers in advance.