Points of Distribution (PODS)

Hamilton County is currently developing a Point of Distribution (POD) System which would be activated during a disaster to assist the citizens of Hamilton County.  PODs are established post-incident for distributing life-sustaining commodities (such as water, ice, food, tarps, and other bulk resources) to the public within the first 72 hours following a disaster or extraordinary incident. PODs generally operate until power is restored and traditional facilities (such as retail establishments) reopen or comfort stations, fixed and mobile feeding sites, and relief social service programs are in place. PODs should operate during daylight hours for approximately 12 hours and restock at night, with the jurisdiction making any necessary adjustments based on the situation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and some organizations in the medical community also use the term POD to describe points of dispensing clinics.  The POD system described here would be vastly different.  PODs can serve two distribution functions. They can be continuous drive-through sites for the public (where volunteers load resources into the trunks of cars), or they can serve as loading points for first responders picking up commodities and delivering them to rural or isolated populations, special needs individuals, or congregate care facilities.

Photo Courtesy of FEMA