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.

The information below will assist pharmacies and pharmacy professionals in 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

Community pharmacies can partner with public health disaster response teams in the state of Michigan in the event of an emergency. The toolkit below provides information about our collaborating efforts.

Please watch the video introduction at the right and click on the black bar below 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 accomplished through pre-event planning and relationship building. Response planners at all levels recognize that pharmacies could play a major role as primary dispensing sites within their communities. During an emergency, the existing pharmaceutical supply chain utilized by community pharmacies could assist distribution of recommended pharmaceutical countermeasures specific to an event. 

Knowing that nearly all Americans live within five miles of a community pharmacy, pharmacies are valuable assets in response efforts. Maximizing pharmacy efforts during an event will help our communities through dispensing medications and administering vaccines and community pharmacists could partner with public health officials in disseminating important information and conducting health screenings. Community pharmacists are well positioned, trusted and capable of playing a significant role when requested, and this project offers an opportunity to begin building 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 Invitation: Click here to access a letter inviting your pharmacy to to become a community pharmacy partner and participate in this important project. 

  • 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 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 are provided to assist you in your preparation to be a community pharmacy dispensing site when needed.

  • Engaged Community Pharmacy Partners

    Engaged Community Pharmacy Partners 

    This list provides state and local public health departments with contact information for community pharmacies willing to be contacted in an emergency to help with response activities. The list is 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. You will be asked to grant MPA permission to include your business name, location, contact name and contact phone number in the listing.

    The Role of Pharmacists in Emergency Preparedness

    Pharmacy professionals play an important role in responding to emergency events, such as natural disasters or infectious disease outbreaks. 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 healthcare community, and involvement in emergency preparedness begins in local communities. Unlike many other emergencies, pandemics are not localized to a single region of the country. Given the mobility of individuals, carriers of the infectious diseases can transmit illness through various means. Because of this, careful local community planning is essential prior to an event to enable a successful response during an event.

      • Pharmacies are ideally located to play an important part in 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.

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

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

    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 platform also tracks your training and maintains a permanent record of courses completed. 

      • Introduction to the Modular Emergency Medical System (course ID #1034319)
      • Michigan’s CHEMPACK Program (course ID #1034911) - Offers free CE credit through Michigan Board of Pharmacy
      • Michigan’s MEDDRUN, Chempack and Strategic National Stockpile Program (course ID #1031785) - Offers free CE credit through Michigan Board of Pharmacy

    These courses describe and discuss various pharmaceutical caches and deployment plans. 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 Resources for Pharmacists

    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.

    Local Health Department Emergency Preparedness Coordinators
    Emergency preparedness coordinators for local health departments are good points of contact for pharmacists with questions regarding emergency preparedness activities in their communities. These people are charged with building plans to receive Strategic National Stockpile assets and mass dispense them to their communities. Establishing a relationship prior to an event will make an emergency response more efficient, and other opportunities for partnership may emerge.

    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 websites, articles, online training and general recommendations to assist the committed pharmacist in navigating the variety of resources that are available.

    State Medication Caches
      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. It is important for pharmacists to know which medications are in caches, how they are requested.

    • CHEMPACK can be used to treat nerve agents (NA) and organophosphate exposures during a large-scale incident. Two types of CHEMPACK caches are 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

    • Hospital pharmacists may be involved with hospital caches in an emergency. They should:
      • Plan and exercise the deployment of these caches within your Hospital Incident Command (HIC) protocol periodically to ensure readiness.
      • Maintain proficient knowledge of medical countermeasure assets and their indications in these caches.
      • Maintain awareness of the location of activation numbers and internal protocols that would be used to activate a response.
    • 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 are strategically located throughout the state. Pharmacists should be familiar with the medical countermeasures contained within these packs. Decisions regarding deployment of these assets may involve pharmacists. Being involved with a MEDDRUN deployment decision also allows the pharmacy to organize its response for handling asset allocations when they arrive.

    • MEDDRUN caches can be rapidly deployed, usually within one hour to most parts of the state. The purpose of MEDDRUN is to bridge the gap in time between local, regional, state and Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) resources. MEDDRUN assets can be used to treat:
      • Exposure to cyanide or nerve agents
      • Organophosphate pesticides
      • Toxic industrial chemicals
      • Radiological dispersion devices
      • Biological events, such as anthrax, plague and tularemia

    Register as a Volunteer

    The Michigan Volunteer Registry was launched in January 2006 by the Michigan Department of Community Health Office of Public Health Preparedness, now the MDHHS Department of Emergency Preparedness and Response. 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 a public health 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). 

    Using that information, volunteers will be contacted by authorized personnel. Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, behavioral health providers, emergency medical services personnel, ancillary support staff and other individuals interested in helping are encouraged to register. Registration is essential prior to an event so that volunteers can be credentialed. Only credentialed volunteers will be able to serve in an actual emergency. 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 preparedness in Michigan hospitals.

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

      • Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template
        A COOP helps prepare and protect employees in the case of an event that disrupts pharmacy or hospital operations. It provides a roadmap to maintain safety while continuing to serve patients and the community. Use this template as a starting point to create a COOP for your organization.

      • 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 website 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

      • Radiation Emergency and Potassium Iodide in Michigan

          • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
            For those living or working within 10 miles of one of Michigan’s nuclear power plants, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers a one-day supply of potassium iodide in specific pharmacies. If a nuclear power plant incident occurs, and a declaration of a radiation emergency is issued by local officials, people potentially affected should take the potassium iodide pills.

          • 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.