Emergency Medication Distribution
Protecting the health and safety of residents is the first priority in any emergency situation.
If an epidemiological investigation reveals an exposure that may threaten public health, mass prophylaxis or vaccination may be an effective disease control measure.
The health department, in conjunction with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will decide what treatment is appropriate.
The Emergency Management Bureau administers Salt Lake County’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). In the event of a major biological terrorism threat or disease pandemic, we are responsible for receiving and distributing medication and other supplies from the CDC.
The established SNS standard is to accomplish distribution to an affected population—no matter the population size—within 48 hours. To accomplish this, we hold regular drills and exercises and also work with many other agencies, coalitions, and private businesses.
The primary method of SNS distribution is through Point Of Dispensing (POD) sites. A POD site is a temporary mass medication dispensing location that is capable of providing medication, vaccination, or other necessary items to protect the general population from biological threats or epidemics.
A POD is not a:
- shelter; it does not have the capacity to house and feed people.
- trauma center, emergency room, or urgent care center; it is not able to provide medical treatment to patients.
PODs can be Open or Closed. An Open POD is set up for the general public in strategic locations throughout the community. In an emergency event, details about an Open POD will be announced using multiple media and social media resources.
A Closed POD is set up for a specific group that is pre-trained to dispense medications to their member populations. For example, large corporations, jails, universities, nursing homes, etc. may set up a closed POD dispensing operation specifically for their populations.
For information about how your company or organization can become a Closed POD, call the Emergency Management Bureau at 385-468-4126.