Medical Emergency Distribution System

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An act of terrorism (or a large-scale natural disaster) affecting the United States may require rapid access to large quantities of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. Such quantities may not be readily available unless special stockpiles are created in advance. Therefore, a national inventory of supplies, called the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has been created as a resource for all states.

What you should know about the medicines in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)

  • The medicine in the SNS is FREE for everyone.
  • The SNS has stockpiled enough medicine to protect people in several large cities at the same time.
  • Rhode Island works with the federal and local planners to ensure that the SNS medicines are delivered to the affected area to protect you and your family in the event of a public health emergency.

How you will get your medicine if the SNS is delivered to your area

  • Local communities are 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 get medicine to protect you and your family during an emergency by watching TV, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, checking the community Web site on the Internet, or learning from trusted community leaders.

Narragansett EMA's role

The Town of Narragansett has several plans in place for receiving SNS medicine from the Department of Health and distributing it to all members of the community.  

  • In the event of a Medical Emergency Distribution, Narragansett will notify the community of the location and time of opening for its POD (point of dispensing).
  • The Narragansett POD will be open to anyone who chooses to come and is not restricted to residents only.  
  • Any forms or paperwork will be available in advance and it is requested that you have them filled out before entering the POD site.  
  • Those Special Needs Populations that have already registered with the State Registry (Available Here) will have special instructions provided to them.


Some General Guidelines for PODs

  • Please remain calm and orderly at all times
  • No pets are allowed in the POD
  • Every effort will be made to keep families together
  • Lines may be long and parking limited so carpooling is encouraged.  

Community Preparation - 4 Steps 

The RI Department of Health has outlined 4 simple steps that all patrons attending a POD should know!!

  1. Fill out your forms (or bring them already filled out!)
  2. Have your forms checked by staff
  3. Get your medication or vaccine
  4. Follow the signs to the Exit

It is that simple!  After exiting the POD you should take your medication as directed and listen for further instructions from Narragansett EMA or RI Department of Health.

2013 Point of Dispensing Exercise 
"Anthrax over the Bay"

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March 30, 2013.  Each year Narragansett EMA and other partners participate in various training exercises to ensure that if needed they can provide medications to residents in the event of an emergency.  This years exercise titled "Anthrax over the Bay," simulated an exposure of the entire population in Rhode Island to Aerosol Anthrax during the 4th of July Holiday.  Various Town departments converged on the POD site to practice setting up 48 hours of dispensing disease preventing medications.    
2015-16 Point of Dispensing Exercise

Narragansett EMA will again be testing its plan for mass dispensing of medical countermeasures during a multi-jurisdictional exercise on February 27th.  This exercise will involve the communities of Narragansett, South Kingstown, North Kingstown and Jamestown all exercising their plans together at one point of dispensing.  This scenario will ensure the ability of the communities to work together to provide an additional 50 day supply of antibiotics to the public who has been exposed to an infectious agent.  

Volunteers are needed for the exercise to either participate as one of the POD staff or as mock patients attempting to pickup medical countermeasures for their families.  If you are interested in participating please contact