Rationale and Process for Continuity of the Economy




Ruddell, Benjamin

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Institute for Homeland Security


A regional economy is a vibrant ecosystem comprising critical infrastructures and economic agents like power and telecommunications, ports and logistics, networks of producers and suppliers, human capital, and government agencies. In the increasingly connected and chaotic global economy, resilient regional economies must implement economic development and regulatory policies that ensure "Continuity of the Economy" (COTE) during major social, economic, or environmental shocks. COTE requires that all providers and operators of critical infrastructures and critical functions establish adequate capacity to self recover after a major disruption and prepare adequate input supply chain buffers so that supplier disruptions do not take down critical services before the economic network can recover itself. Non-critical suppliers support interdependent critical infrastructures, blurring the artificial lines between critical and non-critical sectors and highlighting the need for a cross-cutting whole-of-economy approach instead of a sectoral approach to preparedness. This whole-of-economy planning and preparation is made possible by implementing a recurring community-based participatory process that maps supply chains, measures buffers and recovery requirements, and connects critical infrastructure service providers and recovery responders directly with suppliers to share recovery priorities and plans. This participatory process also screens out non-critical suppliers that are not necessary in the short term to recover or sustain critical infrastructures and critical functions during a major disruption, enabling recovery operations to focus on critical infrastructures and critical suppliers and speed recovery. Establishing adequate supply chain buffer time and inside-out recovery capacity are identified as the key foci for COTE preparedness. COTE is an all-hazard approach to resilience and preparedness that complements existing economic development, five-year emergency planning, cyber preparedness, and emergency management processes.



Continuity of the Economy, COTE, Emergency Management, Defense, Planning, Process, Supply Chain, Critical Infrastructure, National Critical Functions, Whole of Economy, Regulation, Communication, Resilience, Response, Recovery, Buffer, Inventory


Ruddell, B. L. (2023) Rationale and Process for Continuity of the Economy. (Report No. IHS/CR-2023-1021). The Sam Houston State University Institute for Homeland Security.