1. Purpose: During the winter season, the likelihood of severe weather conditions increases and with that so too does the possibility of changes to the installation's operating status. To avoid confusion when such situations arise, it is imperative that all Fort Knox personnel understand the following processes, key terms and ways to stay informed.
NOTE: The official Fort Knox website (home.army.mil/knox) will include information on the current post operating status, road conditions as well as closures and hours of operation of service-oriented organizations and facilities (e.g., Exchange, Commissary, child care facilities) when inclement weather conditions or emergencies necessitate a change in installation operations.
2. During a weather emergency, the Garrison Commander, in coordination with the Senior Commander and Kentucky District DoDEA Schools superintendent, may direct and/or recommend the following:
a. A delay in reporting for work/duty/schools.
b. Early release from work/duty/schools.
c. Closure of the post/schools.
NOTE 1: The Garrison Commander makes recommendations to the Kentucky District DoDEA Schools superintendent who determines the operating status of the installation’s schools.
NOTE 2: A message such as “two-hour delay for post and schools” means that non-weather essential personnel are to report to work two hours after their regularly scheduled start time, unless otherwise instructed by the on-post organization for whom they work (e.g., If a non-weather essential person’s work schedule is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, that individual should arrive to work by 10 a.m. on that weekday in which there is a two-hour delay, again unless otherwise instructed by his/her on-post organization).
NOTE 3: The Child Development Center and School Age Center will accept children 30 minutes prior to the designated delay report time. CYS will observe delays from the start of standard duty hours at 8 a.m. If the installation is on a one-hour delay, CDC and SAC will accept children at 8:30 a.m. If the installation is on a two-hour delay, CDC and SAC will accept children at 9:30 a.m. All other DFMWR facilities, to include its fitness centers, will respond to the designated delay report time from the start of standard duty hours at 8 a.m. If the installation is on a one-hour delay, its facilities will open at 9 a.m.
3. In the event of such a delay, early release, or closure, weather essential personnel are still to report to or remain at their place of duty as directed by their supervisor.
4. Weather essential personnel are identified as:
a. Emergency services personnel (e.g., law enforcement, fire department, and emergency medical services officials).
b. Directorate of Public Works (DPW) maintenance workers and staff identified to maintain essential services.
c. Ireland Army Health Clinic: EMS.
d. Security personnel for restricted areas and access control points.
e. Installation Operations Center (IOC) staff and Crisis Action Team (CAT) members, as required.
f. AAFES Express managers and employees at gas stations. Senior food and retail managers, as required, to support Express operations, including escorting resupply vendors.
g. Commissary manager and designated employees.
h. Designated dining facility personnel.
i. DoDEA facility operations to include grounds, maintenance and custodial personnel identified to maintain essential services at Fort Knox Community Schools.
j. Other personnel identified by supervisors (A guideline for identifying weather essential personnel is to include those who are needed to continue mission essential operations and/or those needed to provide support to Fort Knox's severe weather response operations).
5. It is the responsibility of supervisors to identify, in advance, their weather essential personnel and to ensure those individuals understand their designation. Employees who do not know if they are considered weather essential should check with their supervisors immediately. Also, the term "weather essential personnel" is different than the term "key personnel"; although, some key personnel may also be weather essential personnel. Personnel should check with their supervisor for clarification.
6. Information and announcements for delays, early releases or closures:
a. Ireland Army Health Clinic (all functions other than EMS, to include Binter Street Pharmacy) follows the installation operating status.
NOTE 1: For purposes of scheduled appointments: IRAHC will observe delays from the start of standard duty hours at 8 a.m. (e.g., If the installation is on a two-hour delay, appointments prior to 10 a.m. will be canceled. IRAHC staff will contact affected beneficiaries to reschedule appointments.). The appointment line at 502-799-5901 is manned when IRAHC is open.
NOTE 2: Non-weather essential IRAHC staff are still to report to work in accordance with NOTE 2 on page 1 of this information paper.
b. Installation delays and closures announcements are disseminated via the ALERT! Mass Warning Notification System, 502-624-KNOX (5669), home.army.mil/knox, Fort Knox Facebook (www.facebook.com/fortknoxky), workforce email via the "Knox Ops Center Msg" and/or "KNOXINFO," and are also sent to the following area news media:
c. Television Stations:
(1) WAVE 3 (NBC affiliate)
(2) WHAS 11 (ABC affiliate)
(3) WLKY 32 (CBS affiliate)
(4) WDRB 41 (FOX affiliate)
d. Radio Stations:
(1) 89.3 FM
(2) 90.5 FM
(3) 91.9 FM
(4) 93.1 FM
(5) 93.5 FM
(6) 94.3 FM
(7) 95.7 FM
(8) 97.5 FM
(9) 98.3 FM
(10) 98.9 FM
(11) 99.3 FM
(12) 100.5 FM
(13) 101.5 FM
(14) 103.5 FM
(15) 105.5 FM
(16) 107.3 FM
(17) 790 AM
(18) 840 AM
(19) 1080 AM
e. ALERT! signup information.
(1) The Fort Knox ALERT! mass notification system should already be on Fort Knox personnel’s work computers and prompt users to complete signup requirements in order to receive messages regarding severe weather and emergency actions. If the ALERT! icon is not showing on the computer’s taskbar, email the IOC at email@example.com for further instructions. Those experiencing issues when attempting to complete signup in ALERT! should contact their information management officer (IMO) for assistance.
7. Information distribution.
a. Expect to see or hear short messages, such as “Fort Knox 2-hr delay” or “Fort Knox closed” from news media, as their weather closing/delay input systems accept limited amounts and types of information. The messages WILL NOT detail which personnel are to report to or remain at their place of duty, so all Fort Knox personnel must understand, in advance, their work responsibilities in the event of a change in installation operating status. The individual on-post organizations ultimately make the determinations for their respective employees, not the Garrison or Senior Commander.
b. Information on early release will typically be announced to all Fort Knox commanders and directors by the IOC via email. This is the preferred method because supervisors are given specific times to release their employees, which allows for controlled, staggered release and avoidance of exodus congestion issues.
c. Early release may also be announced through other communications channels, depending on the situation.
8. The Garrison Commander will set road conditions, and Directorate of Emergency Services (DES) and Range Branch staff will enforce road conditions/safety. Drivers of privately owned vehicles (POVs) are encouraged to use the following road condition measures as a guide. If having to drive during hazardous road conditions, extreme caution should be exercised.
a. GREEN - Clear and dry/wet. No restrictions.
b. AMBER - Cautionary driving conditions. Road surface may have visible snow/icy areas or be covered with packed snow.
c. RED - Hazardous driving conditions. Roads are covered with ice or hard-packed snow. Heavy precipitation and/or high winds are limiting visibility.
d. BLACK - Extremely dangerous conditions. All roads are considered not passable. Roads are covered in more than 6 inches of snow, hard-packed snow or ice and unplowed. Heavy snowfall and/or high winds causing zero visibility are occurring.
NOTE: Road condition BLACK does not prohibit "weather essential personnel" traveling by POV from entering the installation.
e. Dial 502-624-KNOX (5669) for garrison road condition updates and 502-624-COLD (2653) for range road condition updates. Changes to road conditions will also be announced via home.army.mil/knox and workforce email.
NOTE: 502-624-COLD includes recorded messages on range road conditions only when conditions are subject to change or have changed from GREEN status.
f. Supervisors are responsible for developing and maintaining strip maps to off-post residences of their weather essential personnel as part of ensuring these personnel can be located and transported when necessary to their place of duty. Organizations are encouraged to use their internal resources (e.g., GOV) to pick up weather essential personnel unable to travel to work in their POVs. If no internal resources are available, requests for transportation support should be forwarded to the IOC.
9. Information on ice melt and salt pick-up for areas outside on-post Department of Defense organizations’ buildings (e.g., administrative buildings).
a. Facility managers may pick up ice melt and salt in bags from DPW between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at Richardson Hall (Building 1730), located between Phantom Division and Famous 4th Division roads.
b. Facility managers may pick up bulk loads of regular road salt (i.e., for motor pools and unit formation areas) from DPW between 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday at Marshall Hall (Building 1726), also located between Phantom Division and Famous 4th Division roads.
c. In each case, facility managers must sign in at the pick-up sites to request the ice melt or salt. If requiring bulk loads, the requesters must supply buckets or barrels from their organizations and arrange for their own appropriate transportation.
10. Personnel with questions about any of the above information should contact their supervisor.
Fort Knox CPAC Message: EXCUSED ABSENCE DUE TO WEATHER
With the winter season upon us, it is likely that there will be inclement weather that will cause employees to question whether they are to report for work on time. All employees should presume, unless otherwise notified, that their office or activity will be open each regular workday regardless of weather conditions that may develop. However, there may be occasions in which it becomes necessary to dismiss employees early or delay reporting.
When conditions develop during the duty day that require early release, only employees that are on duty at the time of the release are excused for the remainder of their duty day without charge to leave. Supervisors will be notified of any authorized early release through their chain of command. Employees will be released in phases beginning with those who live farthest from the installation. Phased early release reduces the congestion of traffic departing the installation and the safety hazards inherent with inclement weather.
At times, weather conditions develop that require delayed reporting for employees. Delayed reporting means that employees have an additional amount of time to report for duty. The intent of delayed reporting is to provide additional time to safely drive to work and to provide road crews the time necessary to clear roads and parking lots throughout the installation. Employees who arrive by the designated opening time will be granted administrative leave to cover the period from the beginning of their regular workday until their actual arrival. Employees who do not arrive by the designated opening time must request leave for any time absent beyond the designated arrival time. Employees who do not report at all must request leave for the entire day.
Telework is an option during inclement weather situations if the position is eligible for telework and the employee is a good candidate for telework. To utilize this option, there must be an approved telework agreement in place. When emergency situations require early dismissal or closure at the traditional worksite, telework employees may not be excused from duty if work can proceed at the alternative worksite. Supervisors will determine if telework employees will be excused depending on conditions at the telework site.
Certain positions may be designated by commanders and directors as “essential.” Essential positions are those that are required to keep critical activities functioning during such weather emergencies. Employees whose positions are designated as essential must report for duty or stay on duty regardless of any delays or closures. Essential employees who fail to report are not authorized administrative leave and may be charged leave or absent without leave for their absence.
Communication is key during inclement weather. If there is an authorized delay or closure, the announcement will be posted on the Fort Knox website and further disseminated via local media. However, if an employee has any question about reporting for duty, that person should always contact his or her supervisor.