Emergency Preparedness

Should an emergency, such as a bioterrorism event, natural disaster or infectious disease outbreak, occur in Michigan, hundreds of pharmacy professionals would be urgently needed to dispense medications from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to protect the public and save lives. Pharmacy professionals would be volunteering at a community-based dispensing site away from the "hot zone" of an event.

Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) has a dedicated Emergency Preparedness Coordinator who consults with other health personnel in the state to plan pharmacy response efforts and promotes pharmacist involvement in activities that allow them to become more knowledgeable, competent and better prepared to play a contributory role when called upon in an emergency situation.

Please see the information below for additional information that will assist pharmacies and pharmacy professionals with becoming more involved in and prepared for emergency response efforts. If you have any questions, please contact MPA Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Sarah Barden at (517) 377-0240.

Community Pharmacy All Hazards Dispensing Program

The information contained in the toolkit below describes an important collaboration between community pharmacies and public health disaster response partners in the state of Michigan. 

Please watch the video introduction at the right and click on the black bar to access additional links and resources that provide more information about this opportunity for your community pharmacy site(s).

Community Pharmacy All Hazards Dispensing Toolkit

Community Pharmacy All Hazards Dispensing Toolkit

A successful response to a declared crisis event affecting our community is only accomplished through the pre-event planning and relationship building like this project offers. It is recognized by response planners at all levels that pharmacies could play a major role as primary dispensing sites within their communities. The existing pharmaceutical supply chain offered by community pharmacies could serve as a resource for recommended pharmaceutical countermeasures specific to the current event. 

Knowing that nearly almost all Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy, we already recognize our value, and we cannot let this resource be underutilized during that next event. Fulfilling the role of dispensing/administering also opens the door for community pharmacy to partner with public health in their important messaging goals and surveillance needs. Community pharmacy is well positioned, trusted and capable of playing a significant role when requested, and this project offers an opportunity to begin to build relationships with our public health partners now. If we are a part of the plan, we will be a part of the solution! 

For questions and inquiries, please contact MPA Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Sarah Barden, at Sarah@MichiganPharmacists.org.

  • Community Pharmacy Partner Letter: Click here to access a letter with information on how to become a community pharmacy partner and participate in this important project. 

  • Community Pharmacy Partner Listing: Please click here to access a list of participating pharmacies who have signed up as partners. This listing allows state and local public health departments to have knowledge of what community pharmacies wish to be contacted in an emergency to help with response activities. The listing will be updated as new pharmacies agree to be partners in the project. If you are interested in becoming an official community pharmacy partner and being added to the list, please complete the electronic form online or printable form that allows you to provide your information and give MPA permission to include your business name and location in the listing.

  • Frequently Asked Questions: Click here to access a resource of frequently asked questions related to this project.

  • Recommendations for Community Pharmacies: Click here to access a resource that includes additional planning recommendations for community pharmacies.

  • Resources for Preparedness: Click here to access a listing of additional references and Web site links to assist in your preparedness efforts and involvement in this project.

  • 2016 MPA Annual Convention & Exposition Community Pharmacy Table Top Participant Input/Comments: The attached document is a summary of responses offered by participants at a scenario based presentation held during the MPA's 2016 Annual Convention.  Their input and suggestions in response to questions posed to them is provided to you and all participants listed on the MPA All Hazards Dispensing Toolkit as a way to offer you some suggestions that may aid you in your preparation to be a community pharmacy dispensing site when needed.

  • Additional Emergency Preparedness Resources, Education and Training

    Click on the black bars below to access additional resources, education and training information to assist you and your pharmacy in preparing to respond to future disaster events.

    The Role of Pharmacists in Emergency Preparedness

    Pharmacy professionals play an important role in responding to emergency events, such as a natural disaster or infectious disease outbreak. They are called upon to urgently dispense medications from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to protect the public and save lives.

      • Pharmacists are highly-visible members of the health care community, and involvement in emergency preparedness begins at a local, community level. Unlike many other emergencies, pandemics are not localized to a single region of the country given the mobility of individuals, carriers of the virus and transmission through various means. Because of this, careful and considerate local and community planning is essential to a successful response.

      • Pharmacies are an important part of any local response and pharmacy professionals are adequately equipped to assist the public during response efforts.

      • Michigan pharmacists have been actively engaged in community and statewide emergency preparedness efforts, including the first deployment of Michigan’s mobile field hospital in 2011, to prepare for the potential need for their assistance in disaster response.

      • Pharmacists also protect their patients and staff by encouraging them to have a personal and family emergency plan in place, including an organized record of medication information, supplies and communication mechanisms.

      • As their role in providing vaccines continues to expand, pharmacists can help prepare for the potential of pandemic influenza. During the H1N1 outbreak in 2009, pharmacists were instrumental in providing patients with pertinent information to make informed choices about their immunizations.

    Emergency Preparedness Resources for Pharmacists

      The CHEMPACK Project provides the state of Michigan, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, with a sustainable, supplemental source of federally-owned pre-positioned nerve agent/organophosphate antidotes and associated pharmaceuticals that are readily available for use when local supplies become depleted. As stated above, it is important for pharmacists to maintain awareness of what the cached agents are, where they are, how are they requested and their intended uses.

      CHEMPACK can be used to treat nerve agents (NA) and organophosphate exposures during a large-scale incident.  The CHEMPACK Project makes two types of CHEMPACK container’s or caches, available throughout the state:
          • EMS caches are primarily designed for use by emergency responders at the scene of the incident for up to 454 NA casualties and, therefore, a larger percentage of the antidotes are packaged in single-use auto-injectors.  Additionally, a number of these doses have been modified for pediatric patients.
          • Hospital caches are designed primarily for hospital use for 454-1000 NA casualties and contain more multi-use vials than the EMS caches.  This allows medical professionals to better manage/regulate drug dosing during follow-up and long-term care.
      • Activation:
          • Plan and exercise the deployment of these caches within your Hospital Incident Command (HIC) protocol.
          • Maintain awareness of medical countermeasure assets and their indications in these caches
          • Maintain awareness of the location of activation numbers, and any internal protocol that would be unilaterally activated through your HIC
    • Emergency Preparedness Resources for Pharmacists Guide
      This guide provides resources for pharmacy professionals who are interested in exploring opportunities in emergency preparedness. It includes a compilation of Web sites, articles, online training and general recommendations to assist the committed pharmacist in independently navigating the variety of resources that are available. This helps pharmacists become more knowledgeable, competent and better prepared to play a contributory role when called upon in an emergency situation.

    • Local Health Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinators
      A good point of contact for any pharmacist who has questions regarding emergency preparedness activities in their community or who would like to get involved is their local health department emergency preparedness coordinator. This person is charged with building the plan to receive Strategic National Stockpile assets, and to then mass dispense them to the community.  They may be very happy to have a pharmacist contact in their community who agrees to serve as a resource to them on this or other projects. Getting to know one another pre-event is always good practice!

    • Michigan Emergency Drug Delivery Resource Utilization Network (MEDDRUN)
      MEDDRUN provides mobile standardized caches of medications and supplies to treat approximately 50 patients. MEDDRUN caches owned by the state of Michigan are called MedPacks and they're strategically located throughout the state.  It's important for pharmacists to become familiar with the medical countermeasures contained within these packs. Decisions to deploy, or not deploy these assets may involve the pharmacy department and your input as to whether or not they are appropriate for the specific event may be requested.  Being involved with a MEDDRUN deployment decision also allows you to begin to organize your pharmacy response, and the asset allocations you may soon encounter. These caches are housed with Michigan’s rotary air, and selected ground and emergency medical service (EMS) agencies, to be rapidly deployed during an incident to hospitals and other sites, ideally within one hour of request.

      The purpose of MEDDRUN is to bridge the gap in time between local, regional and state resources, and more extensive Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and other medical re-supply systems.  MEDDRUN can be used to treat:
          • Exposure to cyanide, nerve agents
          • Organophosphate pesticides
          • Toxic industrial chemicals
          • Radiological dispersion devices
          • Biological events, such as anthrax, plague or tularemia
    • Role of the Community Pharmacist in Emergency Preparedness
      Explore the role of the community pharmacist in emergency preparedness efforts. This document describes the essential role of pharmacists as emergency responders in their community as well as changes that a pharmacist practicing when a health emergency occurs could expect.

    Emergency Preparedness Education and Training

    Emergency Preparedness Courses on MI-TRAIN
    MI-TRAIN has many emergency preparedness courses pertaining to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), mass antibiotic dispensing, chempack and others. The training module will also track your training, and maintain a permanent record of courses completed. Below are available courses. The CHEMPACK and MEDDRUN programs offer continuing education credit free of charge.
      • Introduction to the Modular Emergency Medical System (course ID #1034319)
      • Michigan’s CHEMPACK Program (course ID #1034911)
      • Michigan’s MEDDRUN, Chempack and Strategic National Stockpile Program (course ID #1031785)

    All of these courses describe and discuss various pharmaceutical caches and deployment plans that pharmacists should be aware of. Decisions to request and utilize these caches will require the input and expertise of pharmacists to ensure a fast and efficient pharmaceutical countermeasure response to a crisis event.  

    MI-TRAIN Log-in Instructions

      • Go to https://mi.train.org.
      • Go to “Set up a new TRAIN account” and click “Create Account.” You must read and agree with all TRAIN policies.
      • Once the account has been created, browse through courses.
      • Once you find the course you would like to view, click on “registration.”
      • Select "none" under credit type, there is no pharmacy CE offered for this program
      • Click on "Launch" link to continue
      • The course will appear. Follow instructions in the course to navigate

    Emergency Preparedness Courses from the 
    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

    The Michigan Board of Pharmacy has approved the FEMA Incident Command 100, 200 and 700 level courses for pharmacy continuing education (CE) credit. The Board has recognized that pharmacists are first responders in a crisis event, and that they tend to be placed in decision-making positions during these events.

    Receive free CE credit for the following programs, each approved for three hours:

    After you complete each program, a certificate will be generated online from FEMA. Mail a copy of this certificate and a completed copy of this form to MPA, Attn: Sarah Barden, 408 Kalamazoo Plaza, Lansing, MI 48933. After review, a completed copy of the form will be returned to you in approximately four to six weeks. Pharmacists must retain a copy of the completed form that is returned to them as proof of completion because credits will not be reported to CPE Monitor. Take advantage of this offer for up to nine hours of free CE by Oct. 14, 2016.

    Pharmacy Technicians

    Pharmacy technicians will not be left out when a pharmacy or health-system is faced with responding to and managing a major crisis event. They are the day-to-day support for pharmacists, and would certainly play a pivotal role in the response to a crisis event. In recognition of this, MPA is providing three continuing education credits for completion of the following FEMA online program:

    After you complete the program, a certificate will be generated online from FEMA. Mail a copy of this certificate and a completed copy of this form to MPA, Attn: Sarah Barden, 408 Kalamazoo Plaza, Lansing, MI 48933. After review, a completed copy of the form will be returned to you in approximately four to six weeks. Pharmacy technicians must retain a copy of the completed form that is returned to them as proof of completion because credits will not be reported to CPE Monitor. Take advantage of this offer for three hours of free CE by Oct. 14, 2016.

    Register as a Volunteer

    The MI Volunteer Registry was launched January 2006 by the Michigan Department of Community Health Office of Public Health Preparedness. A growing list of willing volunteers from the state of Michigan and out-of-state border counties is currently being maintained.

    The purpose of this system is to provide a secure, electronic environment for volunteers to indicate their volunteer interests and contact information. In the event of an accidental, natural or intentional public health emergency, or other public or healthcare disaster, the registry functions as the central location for volunteer information. The information can be queried and appropriate volunteers contacted by e-mail or text pager (if appropriate). 

    Individuals interested in volunteering can indicate their interests and contact information in a secure, electronic environment. Using that information, volunteers will be contacted by authorized personnel. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, behavioral health, emergency medical services personnel, ancillary support staff and other individuals interested in helping are encouraged to register. Volunteers will also have access to current information regarding events, exercises and drills, or general knowledge and training.

    Please visit the MI Volunteer Registry Web site for additional information.

    Additional Emergency Preparedness Resources

      • A Look at Emergency Preparedness
        MPA's February 2013 edition of the publication Pharmacy Insights focused on emergency preparedness. Read through this interactive PDF for additional information on developing a mass dispensing plan, the role of pharmacists in emergency preparedness and the level of awareness in Michigan hospitals.

      • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Emergency Preparedness & Response
        The CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Web site is a primary source of information and resources for preparing for and responding to public health emergencies. This site continues to keep the public informed about public health emergencies and provides the information needed to protect and save lives.

      • Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template
        A COOP will help prepare and protect your employees in the case of such an event, and provides a roadmap to maintain their safety while continuing to serve your patients and community according to your core business values. Use this template as a starting point to create a COOP for your business.

      • Michigan Prepares
        Your safety and the safety of your family may depend on decisions made in a few seconds. Having an emergency plan and talking about it ahead of time can make all the difference and may even save lives. This Web site contains information to help you develop an emergency plan that is right for your family. When an emergency hits and seconds count, make sure you and your family are prepared!

      • Zika Virus

      • Potassium Iodide in Michigan

          • Michigan Department of Community Health
            For those living or working within 10 miles of Michigan’s nuclear power plants, the Michigan Department of Community Health offers a one-day supply of potassium iodide in specific pharmacies. If a nuclear power plant incident occurs, taking the pills is recommended upon declaration of a radiation emergency by local response officials.

          • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
            The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also offers resources on potassium iodide, including a wide variety of frequently asked questions.