The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is designed to provide a back-up and continuous supply of large quantities of essential medical items to states and communities who have exhausted local or regional supplies during an emergency.
Managed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the SNS Program has built its response on the assumption that state or local authorities would know they had a problem in the early hours of an emergency because of their sick and dying victims, but may not know the cause of the illnesses.
The first shipment of the SNS, known as a 12-hour Push Package, would arrive within 12 hours of the federal decision to deploy. It contains a broad range of materiel including pharmaceuticals, vaccines, medical supplies and medical equipment that authorities could use to protect and treat several hundred thousand people.
Following the identification of the agent, additional SNS shipments would contain quantities of specific items of the SNS to combat that agent. SNS materiel is stored in strategic locations around the U.S. to ensure rapid delivery to any location directed by National Command Authority.
Once the supplies have been delivered, state and local officials will set up treatment centers, called Points of Dispensing or PODS in affected areas and will be notifying the public on the various locations of these sites through local news, the Virginia Department of Health website www.vdh.virginia.gov.
Health officials will be at each dispensing site to distribute medication and provide the public with instructions on how to best protect themselves and their loved ones. It is essential that affected individuals follow instructions from health officials for the entire duration of the treatment.
In the event of a public health emergency, Virginia health officials will work diligently to resolve the situation, respond to public health needs and ensure public safety statewide.