Back to Top Skip to main content

Thirteen years ago Ft. Knox prepared for outbreak scenarios

Front page of newspaper Cover of Fort Knox’s base newspaper announcing a medical exercise in June 2007. (Courtesy Photo by Fort Knox Public Affairs)

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus | Public Health

More than 13 years before the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe, a group of about 100 area organizations gathered at Fort Knox, Kentucky to work on plans to combat it, or something similar.

Nobody knew about the coronavirus back then. In fact, they weren’t even focused on the next big pandemic coming from a family of viruses that includes the common cold. Their one-day tabletop exercise pondered how they would respond if the next big influenza outbreak hit the area.

“Back then, we were planning for an avian flu pandemic, which turned out to be not so big of a deal,” said Joel Tiotuico, plans officer for the Plans and Operations Division at Fort Knox Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security. “The planning for that pandemic was basically because we thought it was going to turn out like COVID-19 has.”

Tiotuico was charged with leading base’s efforts back in mid-May 2007. He and Sara Jo Best, director of Lincoln Trail District Health Department, gathered together about 100 people from local, county, state and federal organizations for the exercise, including several from each of 10 counties that surround Fort Knox.

“We had a really good turnout that year,” said Best, who mentioned that she had been promoted to oversee the preparedness department at the organization about three years prior. “We were tasked with developing emergency response plans, getting people trained to be able to respond; developing a community coalition to plan for emergency disasters. All that included Fort Knox.”

Tiotuico said the 2007 exercise was likely the first event at Fort Knox that emphasized coordination and cooperation among so many different organizations to discuss how best to deal with a potential pandemic from a medical capacity.

“Emergencies like fires, tornados, and ice storms — those are immediate action events. Whereas a pandemic similar to COVID-19 kind of starts slowly, and you’re reacting to something you don’t see, or don’t know it’s happening at first; you’re trying to prevent it from happening,” said Tiotuico. “In that tabletop exercise, we found out the best way to fight it was to try and prevent it.”

Some of the preventive measures that surfaced from the 2007 exercise included the wearing of facial coverings, regular sanitizing of surfaces and social distancing by such means as teleworking.

“Most of our guidance on this plan, up to now, was from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention],” said Tiotuico. “We had decision points, when to get people on telework, when to close stores and schools — it was all in the plan.”

Tiotuico and Best said they remember the threats posed by the H5N1 bird flu scare of 2006, though other strains of that particular influenza had been around since at least 1997. According to news reports, the 2006 strain was predicted by health experts to reach unprecedented numbers of deaths if not mitigated. By May of 2007, Department of Defense officials released a guidebook from which to start planning for a possible flu pandemic.

The 2007 Fort Knox exercise formed as a result of these concerns, said Tiotuico. The results were then placed into a document that could be revised over the years to fit whatever scenarios installation officials may face.

He also elicited the help of a preventive medicine doctor, who produced an 800-page clinical paper, from which Tiotuico modified it to about 150 pages.

“It’s pretty lengthy because everybody plays a part in it, from logistics to family welfare departments, to the schools and emergency management; even the commander himself,” said Tiotuico.

Fast-forward to March 2020, Tiotuico said leaders had voiced concerns about what measures needed to be taken when COVID-19 hit the United States. They approached him.

Tiotuico said the key to effective planning comes from having a flexible document that allows leaders to quickly adjust and make informed decisions when disasters hit.

You also may be interested in...

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 6 – August 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Incidence rates and correlates of risk of herpes zoster, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2001; Rates and patterns of readmission after discharge from U.S. military hospitals, 2001; Sentinel reportable events; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 8 No. 1 – January/February 2002

Report
1/1/2002

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Spontaneous ruptures of the achilles tendon,U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2001; Human immunodeficiency virus, type 1, screening compliance among active duty service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001; Rapidly successive hospitalizations for mental disorders, active duty service members, U.S. Armed Forces, 1991-2001; Sentinel Reportable Events; Reportable events, calendar year 2001; ARD Surveillance Update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 7 – August 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: ARD Surveillance Update; Sentinel Reportable Events; Lightning-Associated Injuries among Active Duty Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2000; Electrical Injuries Among Active Duty Members, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2000.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 1 – January 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Malaria among active duty U.S. soldiers, 2000; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; P. vivax malaria acquired by U.S. soldiers in Korea: acquisition trends and incubation period characteristics, 1994-2000; P. falciparum malaria in the sons of a soldier in Hanau, Germany; ARD surveillance update; Supplement #1: Reportable medical events; Reportable events, by quarter, 2000; Reportable events, by patient category, 1999-2000; Active duty force strength (September 2000).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 6 – July 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Morbidity among women who are pregnant and have babies on active duty, U.S. Armed Forces,1997-1999; Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Type 1, antibody screening among soldiers and civilian applicants for military service, 1985- 2001; ARD Surveillance Update; Sentinel Reportable Events.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 5 – May/June 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Diagnoses of Clinical Obesity, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-2000; Completeness and Timeliness of Reporting of Hospitalized Notifiable Cases, U.S. Army, 2000; Acute Side Effects of Anthrax Vaccine in ROTC Cadets Participating In Advanced Camp, Fort Lewis, 2000; Sentinel Reportable Events; ARD Surveillance Update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 3 – March 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Heat injuries - U.S. Army, 1998-2000; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Cutaneous fungal infections - U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-1999; Noise-induced hearing loss among men - U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-1999; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 9 – November/December 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Cold weather injuries among active duty soldiers, U.S. Army, 1997-2001; Monthly installation injury surveillance reports: surveillance of injuries and their impacts at the installation level, U.S. Navy and Marines; Monthly installation injury surveillance reports: surveillance of injuries and their impacts at the installation level, U.S. Air Force; Completeness and timeliness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable cases, U.S. Army, January 1995-June 2001; Completeness and timeliness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable cases, U.S. Navy, January 1998-June 2001; Completeness of reporting of hospitalized notifiable cases, U.S. Air Force, January 1998-June 2001; Sentinel Reportable Events; ARD Surveillance Update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 2 – February 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Infectious Mononucleosis among Active Duty U.S. Service members, 1998-1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Pseudo-outbreak Associated with False Positive Laboratory Tests for Mononucleosis, Lackland Air Force Base, January-February 1999; Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in a Family of Five, Olsbrucken, Germany; ARD surveillance update; Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Active Duty Soldiers, 1998-1999.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 8 – September/October 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Disease and nonbattle injury surveillance among deployed U.S. Armed Forces: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Southwest Asia, July 2000-September 2001; Monthly installation injury surveillance reports: surveillance of injuries and their impacts at the installation level, U.S. Armed Forces; Sentinel Reportable Events; ARD Surveillance Update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 7 No. 4 – April 2001

Report
1/1/2001

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Hospitalizations among active duty personnel; Ambulatory visits among active duty personnel; Reportable medical events among active duty personnel; Relative burdens of selected illnesses and injuries; Acute respiratory disease surveillance; Characteristics of active duty personnel.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 5 – May / June 2000

Report
1/1/2000

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Skin cancer, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Bell's Palsy, U.S. Armed Forces, 1998-1999; ARD surveillance update; Carpal tunnel syndrome, U.S. soldiers, 1998-1999.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 8 – September / October 2000

Report
1/1/2000

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Breast cancer among female soldiers, 1998 – 1999; Acquired hallux valgus (bunions), U.S. Armed Forces, 1998 – 1999; Reportable events, U.S. Army, third quarter, 2000; ARD surveillance update; Assault - related hospitalizations, active duty military personnel, 1990 - 1999 (revised); Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Active duty force strength (June 2000).

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 7 – August 2000

Report
1/1/2000

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Musculoskeletal Disorders, U.S. Army, 1990 – 1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Assault - Related Hospitalizations, Active Duty Military, 1990 – 1999; ARD Surveillance update; Allergic Rhinitis Among Active Duty Service members, 1998 – 1990; Force Strength, Active Duty Soldiers, April 2000.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health

MSMR Vol. 6 No. 9 – November 2000

Report
1/1/2000

A monthly publication of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch. This issue of the peer-reviewed journal contains the following articles: Noncombat gunshot injuries, active duty service members, 1990 – 1999; Sentinel reportable events by reporting facility; Sentinel reportable events, active duty soldiers; Monthly and installation - specific rates of pneumonia and influenza diagnoses, U.S. Army, July 1998 - June 2000; ARD surveillance update.

Recommended Content:

Health Readiness | Public Health
<< < ... 41 42 43 44 45  ... > >> 
Showing results 631 - 645 Page 43 of 47

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.