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CDC's Strategic National Stockpile: A Wise Investment in Protecting America’s Health

When an emergency strikes, critical medicines and supplies must be in the right place at the right time to protect Americans.

Why It Matters

A large-scale emergency or a rare or unexpected health threat can quickly deplete medicines and supplies, leaving states and local agencies unable to protect the public from some of the most devastating diseases and injuries.

In an emergency that causes supplies to run out, the Strategic National Stockpile can rapidly deploy its medical assets, many of which are specially designated for unusual or rare threats. In many cases, the stockpile is the only program that can purchase and store the necessary quantities of lifesaving resources.

Stockpiled medicines and supplies can protect our citizens from:

  • Bacterial and viral diseases
  • Pandemic influenza (flu)
  • Radiation and nuclear emergencies
  • Chemical attacks
  • Natural disasters

Why CDC?

In an emergency, CDC has the public health expertise to quickly determine which medicines and supplies are needed and get those resources to where they are needed most. The stockpile provides for every American and is capable of responding to multiple large-scale emergencies at the same time.

Stockpile experts work with federal, state, local, and commercial partners to make sure every step of the medical supply chain—from manufacture to delivery—is coordinated. The program also provides training and exercise support to partners to ensure systems are functioning well before they are needed in an actual emergency.

Stockpile in Action

  • Zika: Assembled ~31,000 Zika Prevention Kits and sprayed >9,000 homes, hospitals, schools, and churches to prevent the spread of Zika in affected areas
  • Ebola: Secured personal protective equipment to support ~1,100 days of patient care without creating shortages in the supply chain
  • Supply Chain Partnerships: Partnered with industry trade groups to develop solutions and strategies for issues like product shortages and substitutions

The Stockpile Stands Ready to Deliver:

  • Inventory: Medicines, vaccines, and supplies to respond to any health emergency in the U.S. in 12 hours or less
  • CHEMPACKs: Pre-positioned containers to provide chemical antidotes to >90% of the U.S. population within 1 hour of exposure
  • Federal Medical Stations: Caches of beds, supplies, and medicines to provide care for 50–250 displaced people with health-related needs
  • Personnel: Teams of stockpile experts who provide onsite logistics and operations support in an emergency