South West Georgia Public Health

Health Departments


The Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is a large quantity of medicines and medical supplies managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Strategic National Stockpile contains antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items that can be used to protect the public in an emergency.

During a public health emergency, local areas may run out of critical medicines or medical supplies. The Strategic National Stockpile is designed for rapid deployment to quickly augment state and local supplies. The medicines in the Strategic National Stockpile are free to everyone. The SNS has enough medicine stockpiled to protect everyone in several large cities at once. If it becomes necessary to dispense medications in the North Central Health District, you will be informed of this through local TV, radio, and newspapers.

In Georgia, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead state agency in planning to receive and distribute the Strategic National Stockpile if it is ever needed anywhere in Georgia. DPH works with many other state agencies in SNS planning. Each county in Georgia must be prepared to dispense medication to all residents very quickly in case of a widespread biological attack. The CDC has asked each local area to have plans in place to dispense medication to everyone within 48 hours of the time that public health officials are aware of the event.

The Southwest Health District is working with the county health departments and other partner agencies to develop mass dispensing plans for each of the 14 counties in the Public Health District. In each county, it is essential that emergency management, law enforcement, health care agencies, and other community agencies be involved in this planning.

For more information on mass dispensing planning in your county, contact your local county health department.

The District also encourages organizations to consider registering for the Closed Dispensing Site program. Click the link for more information.


The Southwest Health District is inviting businesses, organizations, and agencies to enroll in the SNS Closed Dispensing Site Program. This is one of the strategies that will be used to quickly distribute medications to people during a public health emergency. A “closed dispensing site” serves a defined group of people—usually the employees, employee family members, and patients or students or inmates of the organization or business. A closed dispensing site is not open to the public.

The Closed Dispensing Site Program is a “Win-Win” situation for your agency or business and for public health. Enrolling your agency or business as a closed dispensing site ensures that your employees and employee family members are protected by having access to the needed medication. This ensures that your employees will be able to continue working or return to work quickly. Your employees will not have to take time off work and report to a public dispensing site.

Closed Dispensing Sites will relieve some of the pressure on the public dispensing sites by reaching specific portions of the community. As a result, long lines and public anxiety can be reduced and resources can be used more efficiently.

In order to participate in the Closed Dispensing Site Program, your agency or business will need to:

  • Have personnel available who can legally dispense medication in the state of Georgia. The medical personnel also will ensure that the proper health, safety, and privacy measures are being observed.
  • Be willing to dispense medication to your employees, employee family members, and patients / students / inmates.
  • Be willing to share contact information and estimated numbers with public health in advance.
  • Have a plan and an identified location for the closed dispensing site


If you have any questions or want additional information about the Closed Dispensing Site Program, please contact:

Sue Clifton

Office of all Hazards Preparedness
Southwest Health District
1306 South Slappey Blvd.

Suite A

Albany, Ga 31701

Office: 229-430-2748

CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile is the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. The stockpile ensures the right medicines and supplies are available when and where needed to save lives.

When state, local, tribal, and territorial responders request federal assistance to support their response efforts, the stockpile ensures that medicine and supplies get to those who need them most during an emergency. Organized for scalable response to a variety of public health threats, the repository contains enough supplies to respond to multiple large-scale emergencies, simultaneously.

Click on the graphic to go to the CDC Website