To ensure the availability of essential government services in emergencies, federal agencies are required to develop continuity of operations (COOP) plans. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is responsible for disseminating guidance to federal agencies on developing plans, as well as conducting government-wide exercises every other year to assess federal continuity readiness. In June 2006, FEMA conducted an exercise called Forward Challenge 06, to allow agencies to activate COOP plans, deploy essential personnel to alternate facilities, and perform essential functions. GAO was asked to describe the extent to which agencies tested continuity plans and procedures, personnel, and resources during the June 2006 exercise. To do this, GAO selected the eight civilian agencies with significant responsibilities during national disasters, analyzed agency exercise documentation, and interviewed officials to determine which test and exercise activities each agency included in its participation.