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Federal Medical Station

Somewhere between a temporary shelter and temporary hospital, a Federal Medical Station is a non-emergency medical center set up during a natural disaster to care for displaced persons with special health needs—including those with chronic health conditions, limited mobility, or common mental health issues—that cannot be met in a shelter for the general population during an incident.

The modular and rapidly deployable reserve of beds, supplies, and medicines provides equipment to care for 50–250 people for three days before resupply is needed. Flexible and scalable, it can be tailored to meet the requirements of each incident and has the ability to increase local healthcare capabilities in mass casualty events or in response to potential public health threats.

Federal Medical Stations operate through the cooperation of federal, state, and local authorities and require pre-planning and pre-identification of potential locations, based on specific selection criteria. Prior to an emergency event, state, local, tribal, and territorial agencies collaborate with the Department of Health and Human Services regional emergency coordinators to survey sites and identify any gaps that may need addressing during a response.

The stockpile also deploys the Federal Medical Station Strike Team, which is a group of technical specialists with specific, in-depth knowledge of the stockpile and supply operations. This specialized team can assist federal and state responders, clinicians, and public health staff with identifying a suitable facility, receiving and staging equipment, and on-the-spot training to volunteers who will assemble the equipment (e.g., beds and nurses stations). The strike team can also request additional material as needed.

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