FORT KNOX, Ky. — After deciding to forego the annual April exercise due to COVID-19 concerns, officials are preparing to test the resilience and readiness of Fort Knox’s independent energy capabilities this week.Fort Knox Directorate of Public Works Energy Program manager R.J. Dyrdek said they have made a few additions that will provide more to watch at this year’s test, set to occur at 10 a.m. Oct. 21. Those include battery backups for both street lights and elevator telephones.“I think the lights are going to all blink red, but that’s the purpose of … the test; we want to make sure everything works,” said Dyrdek. “We’ve also verified that telephones in the elevators have battery backups, and they’re all operational.”Fort Knox took the lead across the Department of Defense in 2015 when officials conducted their first energy independence test in May of that year, successfully proving it could be done. Energy independence has been a priority at the Defense Department for years.“As part of our project, we felt the right thing to do is test twice a year, so we do it in April and October,” said Dyrdek. “In April, it’s done at midnight so that we can have very calm, controllable circumstances. October, it’s done at 10 a.m., and is very well communicated through operations orders and building energy monitors.”Dyrdek said countless awards have followed ever since they launched the project in 2015, including yet another one they are expected to receive in a video teleconference Wednesday at 1 p.m. the day of the test — three hours after turning the power off to the installation.He admits it could be awkward if they can’t receive the award due to complications getting installation power back up and running. One issue has already surfaced — some street lights connected to the installation grid that are situated outside the gates have not blinked in pretests.“We’re a little concerned about that,” said Dyrdek, “but we’re going to keep working that issue.”Dyrdek emphasized that residents and employees at the post need to mark their calendars in preparation for the test. Those driving around post at the time of the test should be prepared to treat all light-monitored intersections as four-way stops, even if the lights don’t blink red.“This is why we want to test,” said Dyrdek. “We know someday there will be a real emergency, and everybody should be very familiar with what they need to do and what to expect.”After the test is complete, Dyrdek is asking for people to contact their building energy monitors or the Energy Program office directly at 502-624-2604, or send an email to robert.d.dyrdek.civ@mail.mil to report any systems that failed to operate correctly during the reboot.And just prior to the test?“Save your computer work a few minutes before 10 o’clock, if that is going to be an issue. That’s something that’s out of our control, and you might lose a computer file,” said Dyrdek. “Then have your eyes open to make sure you building performs like you expected it to so you’re aware of what happens.”He advised to also consider avoiding the elevator during that time, but if you find yourself trapped inside, call someone: “There’s no need to panic; we’ll have the power back on in short order.”