Preparing military installations for pandemic influenza through tabletop exercises

TitlePreparing military installations for pandemic influenza through tabletop exercises
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsOtto, JL, Lipnick, RJ, Sanchez, JL, DeFraites, RF, Barnett, DJ
JournalMilitary medicine
Pagination7 - 13
Date Published2010
ISBN Number0026-4075; 0026-4075
KeywordsDisaster Planning/methods, Disease Outbreaks/prevention & control, Government Agencies, Health Plan Implementation/methods, Humans, Influenza, Human/prevention & control, Military Medicine

Effective Department of Defense (DoD) response to pandemic influenza requires robust and well-exercised plans at the installation level. This article describes proceedings and key findings from a half-day "train-the-trainer" pandemic influenza tabletop exercise for Tri-Service installation public health emergency officers (PHEOs) at the August 2008 Force Health Protection conference. Exercise participants were expected to facilitate the execution of a pandemic influenza exercise at their respective installations within 6 months of attendance. On a 6-month follow-up survey (N= 50), 68% indicated their installations had since created a new pandemic influenza plan or revised an existing one, whereas 44% indicated that their installation had since conducted a pandemic influenza exercise. Chief reported barriers to conducting installation-level pandemic influenza exercises included competing priorities, followed by time, personnel, and budget limitations. Relevant policy implications for installation-level pandemic influenza readiness include access to higher level plans, strategic utilization of assets to optimize surge capacity, and cross-training of personnel.


JID: 2984771R; ppublish