The Public Health Emergency Preparedness & Planning Involvement

Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)

Helping State and Ocean County Prepare for a National Emergency:

A large scale natural disaster or act of terrorism targeting the U.S. civilian population will require rapid access to large quantities of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Such quantities may not be readily available unless special stockpiles are created. No one can anticipate exactly where or when an incident may occur and few state or local governments have the resources to create sufficient stockpiles on their own. Therefore, a national stockpile has been created as a resource for all.

CDC's Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, hurricane) severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once Federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines and/or supplies will be delivered to any state in the U.S. in time for them to be effective. Each state has plans to receive and distribute SNS medicine and medical supplies to local communities as quickly as possible.

The SNS is a national repository of antibiotics, chemical antidotes, antitoxins, lifesupport medications, IV administration, airway maintenance supplies, and medical/surgical items. The SNS is designed to supplement and re-supply state and local public health agencies in the event of a national emergency anywhere and at anytime within the U.S. or its territories.

The SNS is organized for flexible response. The first line of support lies within the immediate response 12-hour Push Packages. These are caches of pharmaceuticals, antidotes, and medical supplies designed to provide rapid delivery of a broad spectrum of assets for an ill defined threat in the early hours of an event. These Push Packages are positioned in strategically located, secure warehouses ready for immediate deployment to a designated site within 12 hours of the federal decision to deploy SNS assets.

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. If the agent is well defined, VMI can be tailored to provide pharmaceuticals, supplies and/or products specific to the suspected or confirmed agent(s). In this case, the VMI could act as the first option for immediate response from the SNS Program.

What should you know about the medicines in the SNS?
  • The medicine provided in the SNS is FREE for everyone.
  • The SNS has stockpiled enough medicine to protect people in several large cities at the same time.
  • Federal, state and Ocean county planners are working together to ensure that the SNS medicines will be delivered to the affected area to protect you and your family if there is a terrorist attack.


How will you get your medicine if the SNS is delivered to your area? Ocean County is prepared to receive SNS medicine and medical supplies from the state to provide to everyone in the community who needs them. Find out about how to receive your medicine to protect you and your family by watching TV, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, checking the local websites.

What is a Fixed Facility? There are two methods of delivering medications. The first is known as an Open POD or Open Point of Distribution. This method calls for the public to come to the site to receive their medications. These sites are “open” to the public and meant to serve everyone. The other method is known as a Closed POD or Fixed Facility. These sites are NOT open to the public. This method consist of supplying or giving medications to targeted agencies such as long term care facilities, hospitals, assisted living homes, colleges and universities, group homes, and jails/prisons. A designated representative will pick up the medications required to prophylaxis all staff, employees, clients, students, etc. and their families.

Acting as a Fixed Facility / Closed POD During a Public Health Emergency Facilities/businesses acting as Fixed Facilities are eligible to receive medication for their employees and family members in the event of a public health emergency. This program is for emergency medication distribution, from the CDC Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), via the NJDOH for county distribution.

Why Become a Fixed Facility?
  • Large groups of people can be reached faster
  • Ensures hard-to-reach or at-risk populations receive medication faster
  • Compliments facility Emergency Preparedness Plans
  • Helps organizations in becoming more resilient during and after an emergency
  • Provides a valuable service to employees and exhibits commitment to the community
  • Creates partnerships with local agencies

Health Altert Network

Ocean County Health Department is one of 22 agencies in the state of NJ that is part of the Local Information Network Communications System (LINCS) and Health Alert Network (HAN). The HAN is a nationwide communication, information, and training system designed to support the linkages between federal, state, county, and local partner’s public health in response to public health events utilizing various communications methods.

To begin receiving this free service you can click on the below link for the enrollment form: NJLINCS Enrollment Form

Please email the completed enrollment form to Brian Albers at BrianAlbers@ochd.org

Potassium Iodide (KI) Tablets

The Ocean County Health Department has Potassium Iodide (KI) tablets available for Ocean County residents that live or work within the 10 mile radius of the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant. If you are interested in obtaining these tablets, you can pick them up at our Toms River site at 175 Sunset Avenue, Monday through Friday during the hours of 9AM - 4PM. If you already possess tablets, please check the expiration date. Tablets currently in distribution are due to expire in December 2019.

Municipalities within the 10-mile radius include: Barnegat, Barnegat Light, Beach Haven, Beachwood, Berkeley, Harvey Cedars, Island Heights, Lacey, Long Beach, Pine Beach, Ocean, Ocean Gate, Seaside Park, Ship Bottom, South Toms River, Stafford and Surf City, and Toms River.

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Program

What is the MRC? The Ocean County Health Department’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a component of the New Jersey Citizen Corps. The program is designed to identify and register volunteers who are willing to serve during a public health emergency.

Our program consists of both healthcare professionals (physicians, nurses, EMTs) and community volunteers with a focus on assisting at a distribution site (medicines) or medical needs shelter. Online/in-person trainings, seminars and exercises are offered/occur throughout the year.

Interested in Joining the MRC? Log on to www.njmrc.nj.gov and complete the online application for Ocean County as either a community volunteer or health care professional. If you do not have access to a computer, or would like to speak to someone regarding the MRC program, please contact Brian Albers via e-mail at BrianAlbers@ochd.org.