Do you know what would happen in the event of a public health hazard?
If and when a public health hazard such as a bioterrorist attack or widespread disease outbreak should occur anywhere within the North Georgia Health District, the delivery of vaccines, medications, and antidotes to our local population will be a critical life-saving measure.
The North Georgia Health District and your county Public Health department have a plan.
- Once all the needed local medical supplies have been used, the North Georgia Health District would notify the Georgia Department of Public Health.
- The Georgia Department of Public Health would then seek more supplies throughout the state.
- If no more supplies are available within Georgia, or if supplies that are available should become depleted, a request for assistance would be made by the Georgia Department of Public Health to the Georgia Governor.
- The Georgia Governor would request Federal Assistance from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
- The Strategic National Stockpile would be sent to Georgia.
- State officials would deliver the medications to the identified Point of Dispensing (POD) in your county.
- Your county’s Public Health department, assisted by the North Georgia Health District, partnering county agencies and trained local volunteers, would distribute the medicines to residents.
The decision to request the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is based on:
- Disease surveillance & epidemiologic data
- Laboratory data
- Medical Examiner data
- Nature of the threat/event
- Local and state availability of needed medical supplies
The North Georgia Health District and your county Public Health department’s Role:
- Assure surveillance systems to rapidly identify level of exposure
- Maintain a plan for POD (dispensing/medication at a strategically identified site)
- Maintain a plan to reach high-risk populations
- Develop and issue Public Service Announcements
What is a Point of Dispensing (POD)?
- If a bioterrorist attack or widespread disease outbreak ever occurs here, your county Public Health department will open a temporary emergency “Point of Dispensing” (POD) to provide emergency medication to protect the population against the threat.
- Medication will be free. No one will be billed or asked for insurance. Personal identification will NOT be required. No one will be asked about immigration status.
- The POD will only provide medication to prevent or treat the disease threat. The POD will NOT give out other medications or provide medical care. For example, if your county is attacked with anthrax, the POD will only dispense antibiotics for anthrax.
- POD staff will not give out medicine for other conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. For medicines to treat other conditions, people will be told to go to their doctor or a hospital.
- POD staff will not treat sick people. People will be told to go to a hospital if they are sick – not to a POD.
- Everyone will need to be patient. In a biological disaster, many people will need medicine and lines will be very long at the POD.
- Families will stay together as they go through the POD.
- POD staff will try to take care of people with infants and those who are frail or disabled, FIRST.
- Every effort will be made to provide interpreters at the POD.
- Be prepared!
o Bring a list of the regular medications you and your children take.
o Know how much your children weigh (dosages for children are calculated according to their weight).
o Dress appropriately for the weather and for standing.
o Pack food and water in case you need it.
For more information on the Strategic National Stockpile: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Information Site for the SNS http://www.cdc.gov/phpr/stockpile/stockpile.htm.