High-Quality Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) Toolkit

5.2 Annexes and Appendices

There are two types of supporting documents that increase the quality of EOPs for districts:

  • Annexes (Operational) – Annexes may be functional or hazard-specific and focus on the specific actions that are critical to successful emergency response and recovery operations. Annexes are the second layer of the EOP.
  • Appendices (Tactical) – Appendices contain the implementing instructions that clarify the content of the EOP and provide additional detail where appropriate. Appendices are typically found at the end of an annex and are considered the third layer of a high-quality multi-hazard EOP.

Functional Annexes

Functional annexes focus on the critical operational functions and the subsequent course of action developed to carry them out. The planning team may determine that functional annexes are necessary to address the complexities of response or to address functions that are common to the response or recovery from all hazards.

While these functions should be described separately, it is vital for the planning team to understand that many district functions will occur consecutively while others occur concurrently. For example, security functions are carried out at the same time, or concurrently, as lockdown functions. However, family reunification functions are typically addressed after, or consecutively, student accountability functions are carried out.

The following examples of functional annexes should be considered when writing a high-quality multi-hazard EOP:

  • Continuity of Operations Plan
  • Direction and Control
  • Reunification
  • Stadium Evacuation

For specific information on the most appropriate considerations for each annex, the planning team may refer to the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans, published by the U.S. Department of Education.

Hazard-Specific Annexes

Hazard-specific annexes describe the courses of action unique to a particular hazard. The development of this type of annex is based on the prioritization of hazards. When developing these annexes, the planning team must also consider local and state laws and regulations that pertain to the specific hazard being addressed.

Addressing the unique needs of a specific hazard requires implementing the courses of action described in a functional annex. The EOP should include courses of action that will describe how students and staff, including substitute teachers, can most effectively respond to a severe weather incident to minimize the loss of life and teach and train on these practices. If response to a severe weather involves sheltering, then the planning team would indicate within the Severe Weather Annex for the reader to see the “Sheltering Annex” rather than repeat the courses of action.

The following examples of hazard-specific annexes should be considered when writing a high-quality multi-hazard EOP if the hazard is specific to the district or campus:


Appendices, or implementing instructions, provide additional detail to the EOP that empower those with defined roles and responsibilities to fulfill those responsibilities and expected courses of action. While there is no definitive list of appendices required for a high-quality multi-hazard EOP, appendices should be included in all cases where additional information could be beneficial. The following appendices are commonly found in EOPs:

  • Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) – SOPs are step-by-step instructions compiled by a division, department, or administration to help personnel carry out complex routine operations. SOPs seek to achieve efficiency while ensuring uniformity and quality of performance. For example, many districts have a specific procedure for requesting funds and acquiring materials or assets.
  • Maps – Maps provide a graphical representation of locations, hazards, and/or points of interest. Maps allow personnel to easily identify focal areas for conducting activities or points of concern due to hazards or threats. Maps effectively depict evacuation routes (including alternate routes), fire extinguisher locations, facility layouts, and other such information.
  • Charts and Tables – Charts and tables enable personnel to quickly access important information. Charts and tables include telephone lists, lists or records or references, inventory logs, and the like.
  • Forms – Forms provide a standardized approach to documentation and information tracking. Commonly used forms include purchase orders, purchase requisitions, medical treatment records, and personnel accountability records (i.e. attendance sheets and timesheets). The planning team may also create forms to support incident management. The guidance for schools to adopt the National Incident Management System (NIMS) further encourages the use of standardized Incident Command System (ICS) forms.
  • Checklists – Checklists provide a list of things to be done or points to be considered and are commonly used to serve as a reminder to personnel as to the minimum requirements necessary to successfully achieve a goal. Common checklists found in high-quality EOPs include documentation standards for disaster recovery, procedural checklists for evacuation or facility re-entry, and other such topics.

    CDA and COOP Virtual Workshop Recordings

    The Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) hosted a series of virtual technical assistance workshops to help schools develop a Communicable Disease Annex (CDA) and a Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) for their districts. These workshops were focused on supporting the completion of these two components of a district Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). These workshops cover topic areas necessary to personalize the TxSSC CDA and COOP templates for a specific district. Below are links to the recordings of both workshops and both template documents.

  • Communicable Disease Annex (CDA) Planning Workshop Recording
  • Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Virtual Workshop Recording