The SNS is a program administered through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, Division of Strategic National Stockpile. It is designed to stockpile large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is ever a catastrophic health emergency. These stockpiles of material are stored across the nation in confidential locations. For a state to receive these supplies, they must have a written plan in place and have run out of supplies needed to assist the community. For more information on SNS email the Arkansas SNS Program or visit the CDC's SNS website.
Arkansas's SNS program relies on the coordination and collaboration of many partners. At the state level, planning is focused on receiving and distributing the federal SNS assets to communitybased points of dispensing (PODS), participating pharmacies, mass care shelters, and hospitals, during emergencies This task is accomplished utilizing partnerships with the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management (ADEM), Arkansas Department of Highway and Transportation (ADHT), Arkansas State Police (ASP), Arkansas Game and Fish (AGF), Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA), University of Arkansas, School of Pharmacy (UAMS), Arkansas National Guard (AR-NG), Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), Veteran’s Administration (VA), National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), Little Rock Police Department (LRPD), U.S. Marshall Service (USMS), Arkansas Department of Information Systems (DIS), Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), Arkansas Department of Education (ADE), corporate partners, private business, and community volunteers. These partners help support our mission by providing security, transportation, warehouse needs, and overall planning.
At the community level, planning is focused on receiving the SNS assets from the state SNS program, dispensing medications, administration of vaccines, or providing other supplies to the citizens of the State of Arkansas during an emergency. Hospitals plan to receive medications and trauma supplies from the state SNS program once their normal supply chains are no longer viable.
A major part of SNS planning is mass dispensing and mass vaccination. This enormous task is taken on by local communities and coordinated by the local county health units. Their partners include local agencies like emergency management, law enforcement, fire departments, non-profit organizations, schools, local emergency planning committees, hospitals, medical reserve corps (MRC), community emergency response teams (CERT) private businesses, community volunteers, and many others. Every county in Arkansas has a community based plan to utilize SNS assets with 156 pre-identified points of dispensing/vaccination responsible for putting together county level SNS plans.
An additional role of SNS in Arkansas is management and coordination of the CHEMPACK Program. The purpose of the CHEMPACK Program is to pre-position antidotes to expedite the treatment of individuals exposed to nerve agents. Containers of chemical antidotes placed across the state will allow for rapid deployment of chemical antidotes to hospitals and first responders should an industrial accident or terrorist actions occur in Arkansas or in a bordering state. The placement of the containers takes into account the population and geographical factors challenging the rapid delivery of the antidotes for treatment. The antidotes are provided by the CDC's Prevention Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS).
CHEMPACK containers may be opened at the discretion of the emergency department physicians at the host hospital and/or assets may be requested by emergency medical services (EMS) or other non-host hospitals where there is a need for the asset.