VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A South Georgia health department is helping businesses prepare for natural disaster, terrorist attacks and disease outbreaks.
If a terrorist attack, disease outbreak or a natural disaster occurred, thousands of community members and leaders within Lowndes County would only have two places to go to receive medicine. Karen Craft with the Department of Public Health said those two places are Lowndes High School and Wild Adventures.
"If we had to dispense medication to every member of our community, you can imagine what a nightmare that would be. So we have what we call open pods and closed pods and pods are 'points of dispensing', explained Craft.
Craft said the Strategic National Stockpile Program would use businesses as a 'closed point of dispense'.
Businesses, medical facilities and churches would come to the open pods before everyone else and pick up medicine for their employees and their families.
"Your business has to shut down because all of your employees are waiting in line with the other 50,000, 100,000 people that are waiting in line, so it's a lot better to be able to go to work and get your medications there and not worry about it," said Craft.
Every business or organization must have a designated nurse or a person who is certified to distribute medication.
Craft said this is a free service that will not only save time but lives.
"This allows us to get the medication to everybody in time because from the time we request a strategic national stockpile, we only have 48 hours to dispense to the entire population," explained Craft.
To become a closed pod, you can call the Georgia Department of Public Health South District and request a Strategic National Stockpile form.