In 2017, the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) simultaneously responded to not one, but three consecutive hurricanes, and at the direction of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), rapidly deployed expert personnel, Federal Medical Stations (FMS), and other supplies to the affected areas. The first FMS and staff arrived in Puerto Rico within 48 hours of receiving orders from HHS. Six FMS were shipped to Puerto Rico. Four were set up in the cities of Manati, Bayamón, Ponce, and Arecibo. . Here, SNS staff had unloaded FMS supplies at an airport in Puerto Rico, which would then be delivered to an established FMS. The stockpile had 115 personnel engaged in the response for Hurricane Maria, including those who deployed to Puerto Rico as strike team members, and supply chain experts, as well as responders at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters, and at stockpile warehouses across the country.
The SNS also coordinated delivery of four refrigerators, meals ready-to-eat (MREs), water, and ancillary supplies for vaccines. It established warehouse service and ground transportation in Puerto Rico, specifically a medical distribution center supporting all medical supplies for the Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) and FMSs across the island. SNS restocked FMS operations with a new shipment of medicines and supplies; deployed vaccines for hepatitis A and B, tetanus, pneumococcal pneumonia, rabies and influenza, as well as surplus medical supplies to assist in Puerto Rico’s public health needs. To learn more about 2017 Hurricane Responses, as well as the SNS in general, please click the links below.