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.
- Instructions will be provided by authorities. Television, radio, newspapers, internet, and other media sources will be used to inform people when and where to go to receive medication.
Point of Dispensing (POD) Sites
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.
Become a Business Partner
During a bioterrorism event or large-scale public health emergency, Collin County faces a challenge in getting lifesaving medications to all of its residents. Businesses and other large organizations can partner with Collin County and create a closed POD site to help protect their employees, members, contractors, and their families.
Government efforts to provide the public with mass prophylaxis in a crisis are inherently associated with long lines of people waiting to receive medical treatment. By partnering with us, your company has the opportunity to take care of your employees and their families at your facility.
Becoming a partner with Collin County will help your organization by minimizing business interruptions and maximizing business continuity. Other benefits include less anxiety, shorter waiting times, and a more convenient and familiar location for your employees during an emergency situation. The identity of closed POD sites are kept confidential and training is specific to each business and organization that chooses to partner with Collin County.
Steps to Becoming a Closed POD:
- Call (972) 548-4473 to determine your eligibility
- Sign a Memorandum of Understanding with Collin County
- Create your Point of Dispensing Plan
- Your company is now a closed POD
The Collin County Public Health Emergency Preparedness team will assist and support your organization in becoming a closed POD. We will help develop your Point of Dispensing Plan, conduct trainings, and assist you in planning drills and exercises to test your POD.