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NC Department of Health and Human Services
NC Division of Public Health
N.C. Public Health Home

Public Health Preparedness & Response

Strategic National Stockpile

The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is a national reserve of emergency medicines managed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With enough stored medicine to protect people in several large cities at the same time, the SNS stands ready to deploy supplies to any state in the country the moment federal, state and local authorities agree that it is needed. In addition to supplementing state and local resources during public health emergencies, SNS has "forward placement" initiatives that supply local agencies in advance with medical countermeasures that would be needed immediately if a biological or chemical event occurred:

  • Cities Readiness Initiative - A federally funded program designed to enhance preparedness in the nation's largest cities and metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) where more than 50 percent of the country's population resides. Through CRI, state and large metropolitan public health departments have developed plans to respond to a large-scale bioterrorist event by dispensing antibiotics to the entire population of an identified MSA within 48 hours. North Carolina's primary CRI region is the Charlotte/Mecklenburg MSA, which includes Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan and Union counties. See map of North Carolina PHP&R regions.
  • CHEMPACK - An ongoing federal initiative to improve state and local capability to respond quickly to a nerve agent incident. The CHEMPACK program provides state and local governments with advance supplies of nerve agent antidotes.

Each state has a readiness plan for interacting with the SNS and distributing the supplies to affected communities. In North Carolina, our state and local plans are regularly reviewed and evaluated against national standards developed by the CDC. The PHP&R Branch provides our local public health agencies with technical assistance in the areas of SNS, CHEMPACK, CRI and medical logistics and assists them with plan development, implementation and improvements.

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