CRYSTAL FALLS—Iron and Dickinson county residents will have local access to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies during a disaster under a federal program.
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Beth Tappy updated members of the Dickinson-Iron District Health Department board about the Strategic National Stockpile during a monthly meeting Feb. 27.
“This is the program that will bring us vaccines if there is an epidemic,” Tappy said. “It will bring us medications if there is a widespread catastrophe. These medications are stockpiled and ready if we ever need them.”
The Strategic National Stockpile is maintained by Centers for Disease Control and stored at 12 locations across the nation. The stockpile is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local public health agencies and hospitals in the event of an emergency.
Supplies would be released after laboratory analysis indicates the presence of a specific biohazard. A county board chairman is authorized to request supplies under the program.
Locally, the emergency plan is implemented by health department staff, emergency responders and a cadre of volunteers. The dispensing site in Iron County is the Forest Park School, Tappy said.
“We need volunteers with a wide variety of skill sets,” Tappy said. “People who think they have nothing to offer are wrong. We need people to help as greeters, people who can help with traffic control or serve as kitchen help.”
Strategic National Stockpile supplies have been released during the 2001 anthrax incidents, Hurricane Katrina and the 2009-10 influenza pandemic. Vaccinations made available for the H1N1 flu were released from the Strategic National Stockpile.
Log on to www.mivolunteerregistry.org to register as a volunteer.