NH DHHS - New Hampshire Receives 100% for Strategic National Stockpile Readiness

Concord, NH - A recent review of the preparedness efforts in New Hampshire

of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) program netted a score of 100 out

of a possible 100. The annual assessment by the Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention (CDC) reviews the overall SNS Program, including exercises,

drills, and other planning efforts from May 2011 to May 2012. The

assessment process has been in place since 2004, and this is the first time

the State has received a perfect score.

The SNS program is a federally managed system that, in the event of a major

emergency, provides medication, medical equipment, and medical supplies to

local areas to support the response to an emergency. The medical emergency

could be natural or human-caused. Typical planning scenarios include a

terrorist attack, pandemic influenza, and mass anthrax exposure. In the

event of such an emergency, citizens would be given specific instructions

and in most cases would be directed to go to various Points of Dispensing

to receive medication.

“We are of course very pleased with the results of our most recent

assessment,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “This score is a reflection

of a great deal of work on the part of many employees and collaboration

between the Department of Safety and the Department of Health and Human

Services and local partners. All those involved in the planning for the SNS

should be commended.”

Public health threats are always present, whether caused by natural,

accidental, or intentional means. Incidents such as the 2009 H1N1 influenza

pandemic, Hurricane Katrina, and other disease outbreaks and natural

disasters that have occurred recently underscore the importance of

communities being prepared to receive and manage the Strategic National

Stockpile. Preparing adequately for future emergencies and outbreaks

requires predictable and adequate long-term effort to sustain and improve

the public health infrastructure, staffing, and training.

Visit www.cdc.gov/phpr/stockpile/stockpile.htm  to learn more about the

Strategic National Stockpile.