medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible. SNS medicines are delivered free. The SNS is designed to have enough medicines stockpiled to protect people in several large cities at the same time. The SNS program is operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the Department of Health and Human Services.

The SNS holds supplies of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, life-support medications, intravenous administration devices, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items. The first line of support available from the SNS program is a supply of 12-hour Push Packages, each weighing up to 50 tons and comprising 130 containers (see Figure E-1). These are caches of pharmaceuticals, antidotes, and medical supplies designed to provide rapid delivery of a broad spectrum of supplies in the early hours of an event. These packages are strategically located in secure warehouses for quick deployment to a designated site within 12 hours. They are constructed so that they can be loaded onto trucks or cargo aircraft without being repackaged. If the incident requires additional pharmaceuticals and/or medical supplies, follow-on vendor-managed-inventory (VMI) supplies will be shipped to arrive within 24 to 36 hours. VMI supplies are stored by major pharmaceutical vendors until shipment.

FIGURE E-1 A single Push Package weighs 94,424 pounds and fills either one wide-body aircraft or seven tractor trailers. The Strategic National Stockpile program pledges to deliver the prepackaged supplies within 12 hours of the federal (DHS) decision to deploy. SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia. Available at

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement