Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)

The CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has stockpiled large quantities of medications and medical supplies to increase preparedness and protect residents during a public health emergency - terrorist attack, flu outbreak, hurricane, etc. SNS assets will only be used in events severe enough to deplete local supplies.

Once state and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, the Texas Governor would request SNS assets from the federal government. As the supplies are strategically placed throughout the country for rapid deployment, they can be delivered to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) within 12 hours. These “Push Packages” contain many different supplies and medicines so local responders can choose what they need based on almost any threat they may face. If the emergency requires additional medicines and/or medical supplies, officials can order follow-on supplies specific to the emergency through the “Managed Inventory” portion of the SNS program which can be delivered within 36 hours.

What should you know about the medicines in the SNS?

  • All medications are free to the public.
  • There is enough medicine stockpiled to protect people in multiple large cities at the same time.
  • Federal, state, and local planners are working to ensure that the SNS assets will be dispensed to everyone in an affected area.

How will the public obtain SNS assets?

  • POD (Point of Dispensing) sites will be established.
  • Follow specific instructions provided by authorities:  television, radio, newspapers, internet, and other media sources will be used to inform people when and where to go.

What is a POD?
PODs are temporary large-scale clinics designed to rapidly administer pills or vaccines to healthy individuals. PODs are located in pre-identified facilities and may have to operate 24 hours a day for several days, depending on the emergency.

PODs are activated when the normal public health response system is unable to meet the needs of the emergency and will be operated using volunteers, such as the Collin County Medical Reserve Corps. In addition to providing pills or vaccines, volunteers would be assigned to help fill out forms, give people directions, keep track of supplies, provide computer network support, and support communications among other support functions.

There are two types of PODs:

  • Pull/Open PODs are open to the general public and will be announced using multiple media resources.
  • Push/Closed PODs are only open to specific groups. For example, large corporations, jails, and/or nursing homes may set up dispensing operations for the population they serve.
Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI)

CRI is a federal program designed to enhance preparedness in the largest cities and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) where more than 50% of the US population resides. This main focus of this program is to prepare to effectively respond to a large scale bioterrorist event by dispensing antibiotics to the entire area population within 48 hours of the decision to do so.  

This program is necessary to enhance preparedness of all levels of government and to provide a consistent nationwide approach to prepare for, respond to, and recover from, a large scale public health emergency. The ability to quickly deliver countermeasures to a large population is a main goal of public health emergency preparedness.

Collin County was selected to participate in this program based on the population, geographical location, and potential vulnerabilities to a bioterrorism threat.