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POD variant comparisons

Kelsey Billups, MS, Robert Bott, MS, Joseph Cacciatore, MS, Braiden Frantz, MS, J. Eric Dietz, PhD, PE


Points of distribution, also known as points of dispensing (POD), are a means for public and private organizations to assist their communities in times of crisis. There are two principal categories of PODs, open and closed, but all PODs differ in design, properties, and application. This study investigates two POD variations: drive-through and supervisor, which have their own unique requirements for being stood up, run, and shut down, as well as differing requirements for planning, staffing, and logistics. There are also similarities in the requirements that each POD category share which lead to certain efficiencies in planning for POD standup, execution, and shutdown. The primary findings of this paper are that planners cannot rely on one POD design and its properties to accommodate every situation, and each POD design has its own strengths and weaknesses. These are related to staffing, security, space requirements, and material logistics needs. Flexibility should be exercised when choosing the correct design, and implementing the proper strategy is key to standing up and executing a POD that will best serve a community. Every situation is different and factors such as population, available infrastructure, resource requirements, and individual skill of the POD staff all influence the design of a POD. Planners should consider resources such as available volunteers, trained personnel (medical and security), and buildings or outdoor space available to run a POD. With proper planning, a POD is an excellent tool to effectively and efficiently serve the public.


point of distributions, emergency management, disaster relief, FEMA, open POD, closed POD, drive-through POD, supervisory POD

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