The Strategic National Stockpile is one of those low-profile agencies most Americans either know (or assume) exists, but know relatively little about.
Managed by the CDC and HHS, the SNS maintains, and can rapidly dispense during an emergency, supplies from its large inventory of vaccines, antibiotics, PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), chemical antidotes, antitoxins and other items from undisclosed warehouse facilities around the nation.
Over the years, a few of the SNS related stories we've covered include:
- During the 2014 Ebola outbreak the SNS stockpiled, and prepared for shipment, millions of dollars of PPEs (see CDC Stockpiling Ebola-Specific PPE Kits For Rapid Deployment) to US hospitals in the event another Ebola patient turn up at their door.
- The year before that (2013), we saw the FDA Approves Adjuvanted H5N1 Vaccine For National Stockpile, in preparation for a feared avian flu pandemic.
- Also in 2013, in NPM13: Radiological Emergencies, we looked at the plan to stockpile Thrombosomes – freeze-dried platelets – used for the treatment of acute radiation sickness.
- During the opening days of the 2009 H1N1 outbreak (eventually, pandemic), the HHS Sent 400K Courses Of Tamiflu To Mexico to help slow the spread of the virus.
- And during the pandemic preparedness push during the middle of the last decade, in Our Strategic Stockpile, we looked at our government's finite, but growing, inventory of PPEs and antivirals.
Later this week the SNS - which just launched a new website - will hold a webinar - open to all public health officials and the general public - introducing, and familiarizing participants with our nations largest stockpile of emergency supplies.Details on how to participate are at the link below. Attendance is limited, so register early.
Webcast (live event) ID 1069826
Skill level: Introductory Course Number DSNSWEB22017(Continue . . . )
Description: This learning webcast is designed to familiarize partners and stakeholders with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Strategic National Stockpile, the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.
As impressive as the SNS is, it is a finite resource, and can not be expected to handle 100% of the nation's needs during a major crisis, like a pandemic, terrorist attack, or natural disaster.
Its existence should not deter local governments, businesses, and individuals from preparing for their own needs during an emergency.
For years the American Red Cross, FEMA, Ready.gov, and just about everyone else in emergency services has urged that individuals and families be prepared to deal for at least 72 hours after a major disaster.
The operative words being, `at least’. And with good reason.The logistics of delivering emergency assistance to millions of people - while hampered by bad weather, crippled communications, damaged infrastructure, or stressed supply chains - all within the first three days of a major disaster, are daunting, and in some cases may be impossible.
To become better prepared as an individual, family, business owner, or community to deal with all types of disasters, I would encourage you to visit the following preparedness sites.
FEMA http://www.fema.gov/index.shtmA few of my (many) blogs on this subject include:
AMERICAN RED CROSS http://www.redcross.org/
In An Emergency, Who Has Your Back? When 72 Hours Isn’t Enough When Evacuation Is The Better Part Of Valor
Because - as the folks running the SNS know - its really just a matter of time before the next disaster strikes.