Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) manage the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), a large supply of medications and medical supplies intended to protect the American public during a public health emergency such as a terrorist attack, flu outbreak, or hurricane. 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 will request SNS assets from the federal government. The supplies are strategically placed throughout the United States for rapid deployment and can be delivered to the Texas Department of State Health Services within 12 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 work 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 to give out medication.
- Authorities will provide information to the public via television, newspapers, the internet, and other media sources about when and where to receive medications.
Point of Dispensing (POD) Sites
The Cities Readiness Initiative or CRI is a federally funded program that was created to enhance preparedness in the nation's largest cities. Collin County is fortunate to have a CRI program which has several Point of Dispensing sites or PODs. PODs are locations where free, life-saving medications are distributed, in the event of a large scale public health emergency or if we are the target of a bio-terrorism attack. Our preparations will facilitate a rapid response to decisively distribute needed medications to every person in the county. The goal is to distribute these medications to the public within 48 hours.
Point of Dispensing or POD sites are temporary large-scale clinics designed to rapidly administer medication to healthy individuals during a public health emergency. PODs are located in pre-identified facilities, typically schools or other large spaces, 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 staffed using volunteers, such as the Collin County Medical Reserve Corps. In addition to providing medicine, volunteers will be assigned to help fill out forms, give people directions, keep track of supplies, provide computer network support, assist with communications, and perform other support functions.
There are two types of PODs:
- Open PODs are open to the general public and will be announced using the media.
- Closed PODs are only open to specific groups. For example, large businesses, long-term care facilities, or other organizations may set up a clinic for the population they serve.