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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Expanding and Enhancing SNS Capabilities

Building a More Resilient Strategic National Stockpile


The SNS Mission: Past and Present

Prior to COVID-19, planning for a Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) response primarily focused on regional or localized emergencies such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed vulnerabilities in the global medical supply chain that required the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand and enhance the SNS’ capability to respond to a nationwide emerging infectious disease, now and in the future.

This strategy has resulted in a better positioned SNS and medical countermeasure response infrastructure with increased personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing supplies, integrative predictive analytics to determine needs, improved technology to provide real-time visibility of supply chains, and less dependency on foreign supplies in order to protect the health and safety of all Americans.

Now, the focus is on the future of an SNS with the breadth and depth to meet the ongoing needs of COVID-19 as well as any future pandemic or public health emergency on a national scale. These upgrades are bolstering the U.S. industrial base to produce critical pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and, most importantly, reducing America’s reliance on foreign suppliers and manufacturers. Today’s SNS ensures we are ready and resilient when the country needs us.


SNS Expansion Accomplishments

The SNS has focused on five priority areas to bolster national health security and ensure readiness:


SNS 5 Priority Areas: Replienishing the SNS; Refining SNS strategy & structure; Estalishing a distributor working model; Expandi


HHS has greatly expanded the depth of the stockpile. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The SNS has 26x the amount of N95 respirators on hand than pre-pandemic levels, at more than 350 million.
  • The SNS has 9x more ventilators with 152,000 on hand and available for deployment.
  • ASPR is increasing the stockpile of other PPE, including surgical masks, gowns, eye protection and gloves.


HHS has expanded the breadth of the stockpile:

  • The stockpile now holds commonly used ICU medications necessary for starting and maintaining patients on ventilators.
  • ASPR acquired high-flow nasal cannula kits that can be used with the Ventec V+ Pro ventilators held in the SNS.

The SNS works with commercial partners to execute rapid and targeted deployments of PPE, pharmaceuticals and testing supplies. Long-term distributor models enhance future SNS deployment capabilities for a widespread, nationwide response for emerging infectious diseases.

ASPR has established unprecedented visibility into the medical supply chain through its Supply Chain Control Tower. Real-time data from commercial partners across five PPE categories and 38 pharmaceuticals helps federal response officials with understanding supply and demand in emergencies and with decision-making on when and where to deploy SNS supplies.

Working with other parts of ASPR and federal agency partners, the SNS continues making strides in expanding domestic production of critical supplies to reduce U.S. vulnerabilities and reliance on the global medical supply chain now and in the future.

  • This page last reviewed: April 02, 2021