Chester County Strategic National Stockpile

The Chester County Health Department and the Chester County Department of Emergency Services in partnership with numerous other county government entities, private/commercial organizations, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and key subject matter experts have executed a very aggressive and effective Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) preparedness program in Chester County.

SNS is both a federal and commonwealth mandate. The purpose of the program is to enable local jurisdictions such as Chester County to respond to a mass disaster that requires lifesaving medication dispensing to as much as 100% of the county population in as little as 48 hours. Disasters requiring activation of the SNS program could be human-caused or natural.Typical planning scenarios include events such as pandemic influenza and mass Anthrax exposure.In the event of such a disaster, the Federal Government would ship bulk medications, equipment, and supplies to the Commonwealth and in turn, the Commonwealth would distribute to the County.Actual dispensing of medication to the public is 100% a county level responsibility.The SNS model that Chester County has implemented is designed to distribute appropriate medications or vaccine to all county residents within forty eight hours of a natural or man-made disaster by using local schools as Points of Distribution (PODs).
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In 2009, the County conducted two POD Mass Medication Dispensing Exercises and several related exercises and training events.Chester County received a final score of 78 on the federal Technical Assistance Review (TAR) evaluation of our SNS program from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That score represented a more than 50% increase from the prior year's score of 49.

In 2010, we continued a very aggressive approach to SNS preparedness.In addition to numerous other training, seminar, and exercise events,we held a full scale exercise that involved activation and operation of all SNS facilities. This major complex exercise, based around a mass aerosolized Anthrax exposure of our population, involved more than 20 facilities, more than 150 staff/volunteers operating these facilities, and 250-300 volunteers serving as "citizens" to receive their emergency medication at one of our PODs. In August 2010, we received our TAR evaluation and we were awarded an incredibly high score of 98.2. That nearly perfect score places Chester County among the very best in the nation.

In 2011, we continued the robust planning, training, and exercise program and conducted our first closed POD Exercise at the Chester County Intermediate Unit, our first county-wide SNS communications exercise and a full scale logistics/distribution exercise. In 2011 we exceeded 125,000 individuals covered through our Push Site program and exceeded 2,000 volunteers and staff associated with the SNS program. In 2011, we received a perfect score of 100 on our Technical Assistance Review. We are proud to say this is only one of two perfect scores awarded nationally in 2011.

If you would like to learn more about the Chester County SNS program, or have someone present information to your group, contact the Health Department via email or call 610.344.6225.

Links
Chester County POD Sites Map
Video - Stategic National Stockpile - an Overview
Chester County SNS Plan Functions
Strategic National Stockpile Information from CDC