Point Of Distribution Information

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Have you heard about the POD program? It’s called the Point of Distribution by FEMA and organized by our local health departments. I wrote this post a few years ago so people would know about the program being offered in every city across the US. I live in Southern Utah, and the county I live in had a meeting a few years ago to discuss the point of distribution in our area. It’s also called a POD.

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The meeting was put together to train about 100 people in our area/neighborhood that covers all the people in our geographic area, not just the estimated 2,500 people who may be members of the local church facility being used as the POD location. The Washington County (Utah) Health Department asked for people in our neighborhoods that would understand and be qualified to help after a major disaster.

They started with people who are knowledgeable about preparedness and asked different churches to set up training for the people in the different locations.

They will have limited PODS because they can only manage and distribute prescriptions or supplies to so many areas after a major disaster. It is our understanding that FEMA plans to ultimately locate and train people all over the country to be used in local PODS like the one here where I live.

If you are interested in finding your local health department point of distribution, you will want to Google: Health Department Point of Distribution. The problem is you may have to make a phone call to your health department to inquire about them because in most cases it is NOT on the internet.

Point of Distribution For Shots and Prescriptions

They also asked for dentists, doctors, nurses, EMT’s intermediate and above, paramedics and anyone else who is qualified to give injections based on training and/or license. I want you to picture in your mind what we did that night. The 100 people who came, including my husband and myself, were trained in the procedures following a disaster.

We were shown picture slides as part of a PowerPoint demonstration to show us what will be required by all of us after a disaster. They had tables and chairs set up all over the large church gymnasium. They provided orange vests to show what we will wear as we direct our community members when and if needed.

We will have greeters at the doors to make sure no one is sick and no children will be allowed in the building or POD. Children may spread germs and no one that is sick will be allowed inside the POD. If someone who is sick comes to the POD they will be directed to go see their doctor or local Instacare type facility.

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Here’s the deal with a POD or point of distribution. These PODs will be set up by FEMA and your local health department after a disaster, earthquake, pandemic or whatever major situation our neighborhoods may have. We will have a certain number of people from each neighborhood come to the center to get the needed prescriptions or emergency supplies.

For instance, they gave a short example that if Las Vegas, Nevada was sabotaged by a terrorist group by maybe setting canisters all over the city and then they started letting the Anthrax disperse, the people affected would only have 36 hours to get the needed prescription to save their lives. We will dispense those needed drugs. Yes, you heard that right. This is why they are setting up PODS wherever possible.

Now, this is not an easy thing to do. Lawyers from the different churches and our county/state people had to agree on the required legal documents to facilitate this to happen since the FEMA and county health department personnel will be in charge of the church facility that’s being provided for the benefit of the public at large.

PODS-Point of Distribution

These PODS are designed for three types of events:

  1. Natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, etc.
  2. Biological agents-terrorism incidents
  3. Disease outbreaks

The PODS will be open to everyone no matter what faith they believe or where they may live. All the facilities will open and close at the exact same time each day. The reason for this is quite simple, they do not want everyone running (driving) to the facility that happens to open first. The news media or social media will let everyone know (if we have electricity or they will use Ham radios) where these PODS are located and when they will be open.

Greeters

These people will be hand-picked from the 100 volunteers above. These people must be calm and attentive, but not too talkative since it’s important to process as many people as possible in as short a time as can be accommodated. We can’t have a “chatty patty” greeting people at the door. We need to keep the lines moving.

Triage and Registration Area

  1. Handout forms for attendees to fill out and sign
  2. Ask questions about health and family considerations
  3. Direct people to the next station area where the forms are double checked
  4. Keep sick people out of the POD, no kids allowed, direct sick people to go see their physician or InstaCare
  5. Special needs and counseling areas may be available
  6. Handout information about the prescriptions-no limit on prescriptions you can pick up, but you must list who will be given the meds
  7. Review the medications with the people
  8. Direct to exit area after medications are dispensed
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Security People Will Be At The Doors

Obviously, people are going to be anxious to get the medications that they need and may lose patience. We will look for strong burly type people to man the doors. Plus they must keep control of the situation at hand.

Yep-It’s All FREE

FREE as in our tax dollars are covering the expenses.

No Insurance-No Medicare-No Medicaid necessary.

No insurance cards whatsoever will be needed or required. This is all FREE via our government tax dollars. No expense will be incurred.

CDC states we need 63 people to run a POD. We need to be able to “push” 150 people through the process to get the medications within one hour start to finish.

We can only set up a POD if we know what the disease is for sure, then we will know what antibiotics we will dispense. The county is constantly monitoring the diseases in our area. Additional medications can be shipped to us within 12 hours and as long as the roads are open. We will dispense vaccinations and medications as needed and required per the disease.

Anthrax Tidbit

Once exposed to Anthrax you have 36 hours to get the medication to save your life. Time is of the essence. We will hand out Cipro and Doxy. Cipro is not for children, pregnant women or breastfeeding moms. These are the two drugs we need if exposed to Anthrax.

Please check your city, county, and state to see where your local health department and FEMA will have you go in case of emergency, disaster or disease outbreak. Please check places for your POD or Point of Distribution placement before the need arises so you know where to go, and hopefully, the roads will be open. Hopefully, you will never have to use it. May God bless you and our country.

Food Storage by Linda

CDC-ANTHRAX Information

POD-FEMA Information

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24 thoughts on “Point Of Distribution Information

  • November 15, 2015 at 7:26 am
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    This is an excellent article. The PODs will come in handy for short term disaster or emergency situations. Long term or Very long term is another story.

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    • November 15, 2015 at 7:40 am
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      Ray, I totally agree. I am extremely worried about long term survival. I am worried about an EMP and the trucks not working to deliver the antibiotics and other supplies we need. I am also concerned about the rioting that will occur. We have to be able to take care of ourselves. Now if we can only get the world to do their part for survival. Thanks for your comment, Linda

      Reply
  • November 15, 2015 at 8:04 am
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    This is kind of scary, and I hope I never have to go to a POD. But thank you for your services to the community, Linda. You’re a good person.

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    • November 15, 2015 at 4:37 pm
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      Hi Lindsay, I hope we never have to use a POD either but I am sure we will sooner than later with all that’s going on in this crazy world. I am extremely worried about the chaos that will happen when we do have to use a POD. I am prepared for most anything but some my neighbors have no clue or desire to be prepared for the unexpected. May God bless them when they need food and water.

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    • September 28, 2018 at 8:08 pm
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      Lindsay,

      This is kind of scary, and I hope I never have to go to a POD.

      I work with our local county EMA and our Medical Reserve Corp and we all hope to never have to implement these procedures. To ease your mind, think of it as insurance, with someone else (actually all of us) paying the bill. I’ll describe our procedures in more detail below; but, this is no different than the people who keep the street lights and the traffic lights operating or answer the 911 calls.

      Reply
  • November 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm
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    Our Stake is having its POD training this Tuesday night. We’re in Hurricane. Thanks for your blog and the insights on what we can expect. 🙂

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    • November 15, 2015 at 2:04 pm
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      Hi Janet, oh you are so lucky you live in Hurricane, Utah! You have a lot of great people who are prepared for the unexpected! Thanks for letting me know your city is having a POD training! Hugs, Linda

      Reply
  • November 16, 2015 at 12:01 am
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    Interesting information I had never heard about. I tried to look up on the FEMA website where my POD would be, only to find that there there isn’t one. Living out in the sticks, not sure if FEMA will bother with a POD for us…I am preparing as much as I can and sure do appreciate the information I get from you!!

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    • November 16, 2015 at 5:30 am
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      Hi Susan, I would love to live out in the sticks! It sounds wonderful. I am not sure FEMA has the sites all listed online as of right now. I would call your local county health department. They work with FEMA and the local churches to set them up. We have three different churches (different faiths) prepared here in Southern Utah with people ready to set up the PODS in those buildings. They should know about the Point of Distribution (PODS) in your area. They may be working on it right now. Blessings to you, Linda

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      • September 28, 2018 at 8:29 pm
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        Linda & Susan the Farm Quilter,
        I also live in the sticks (well & septic, etc) and Linda is correct. Check with your local health department &/or county Emergency Management Agency for details on the program. Even though we have a program in my county, many are not aware of it nor do they need to be, since it’s there like many emergency services to administer aid when required.
        This of course still assumes that you have your own preparations in order with at least a 72 hour kit and a few weeks of any required medications.

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        • September 29, 2018 at 10:24 am
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          Hi Ohio Prepper, it’s amazing how many people have not heard about this program. This is why I like to keep people informed about what I know. Yes, indeed, we still need our own preparations. Linda

          Reply
  • November 16, 2015 at 7:06 am
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    Hi and Thank you Linda!

    I have been helping to organize a CERT in Ivins the past few months and this is very helpful information. We have a surgical nurse on our team that I think would like to know more. The person who posted about a Tuesday meeting this week in Hurricane may I have the location?

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    • November 16, 2015 at 7:53 am
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      Hi Karen, how are you? I would call this phone number to see when they are doing one in Ivins: Southwest Utah Public Health Dept. #435-673-3528 The whole county is setting them up in different church locations of different faiths. I miss you, hugs! Linda

      Reply
  • November 28, 2015 at 3:35 pm
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    No expense will be incurred? Where do you think the money comes from for this stuff? It’s expensive, and I’m paying for it. Why not organize the private organizations already doing this type of work, and give them more freedom to do it?

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    • November 29, 2015 at 11:52 am
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      Hi Katie, your right the taxpayer money is spent on this program, but there is no additional out of pocket expense for the recipient. We have no control over the program and how it’s being run. Linda

      Reply
  • December 12, 2015 at 6:16 pm
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    I live in Oregon. You know, where we’re expecting the BIG ONE earthquake/tsunami as in Japan and Indonesia. Our state has been working to catch up. One of the best ideas (from my perspective) is a little booklet in which a person can take to the pharmacy where they can put labels of all prescription meds. This will save time during a crisis. Now that is carried with ID and/or passports. This way there is no doubt as to what is needed or who needs it/them.

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    • December 13, 2015 at 8:09 am
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      HI Dee, this is a great idea! I know I have a sheet in my emergency preparedness download that has spaces to fill this out. The labels could be put in there as well. Great tip! Linda

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      • September 28, 2018 at 8:44 pm
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        Linda,
        We should all have lists; but, also stockpile as much required medication as we can. For non-narcotics I simply asked my primary care doc for some extras and she agreed. Assuming you have a good relationship and your doc knows that you can use the medications responsibly, anyone can at least try. Antibiotics are generally inexpensive and often don’t even require insurance to be affordable.

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        • September 29, 2018 at 10:25 am
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          Hi Ohio Prepper, I do the same thing. My doctor has since retired and I’m looking for another great doctor. Great tip! Linda

          Reply
  • September 28, 2018 at 9:14 pm
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    We have been doing the POD procedures around here for 10 or more years, in our case utilizing the local county EMA and the health department. In a situation such as an Anthrax outbreak, plans are in place to distribute Ciprofloxacin or other medications to all 52000 inhabitants within 24 hours. Here we do it in a tiered response. Volunteer EMA members such as me; get the call to come to a distribution center along with designated health professionals.
    The health department maintains lists of the members of organizations like Police, County Sherriff. Fire districts, EMA, etc. along with their families. Initial distribution would be from these lists to get the medications to all of the first responders and their families, under the premise that if we want Joe to show up and work during the crisis, we need to make sure Joe’s family is safe and cared for. Next are lists of nursing homes and some church organizations or businesses that are cooperating. By organizing much of the population in large groups, we can pass out the medications without handling each of the 52,000 people. While some of us are getting batches together for the groups, others are setting up the POD for all of the others, at which point media would be used to bring people to those distribution points. At the distribution points medical personnel would make a quick assessment of the individuals and then get them the medication they need. In many cases a single adult can show up and claim medications for the entire family. To date we have only run tabletop exercises to simulate the POD, train people, and work out the kinks.
    Different jurisdictions will of course handle the POD system differently
    Someone asked why the taxpayers pay for this or why it can’t be farmed out to others in the private sector, and the reason is at least two fold. Keeping enough medications on hand for a population of 50,000 or more is expensive and the location must be kept secret & secure. Also, , when distributing medications en mass mistakes could be made, such as a pregnant woman not knowing she was pregnant or someone with an allergy who didn’t know it, and many private organizations simply do not want the liability.

    Reply
    • September 29, 2018 at 10:27 am
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      Hi Ohio Prepper, I am glad to hear you have been involved in this program for ten years. It’s not really well known but needs to be. Linda

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  • September 28, 2018 at 9:21 pm
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    Interesting that this seems to be kind of under wraps. I would suppose that FEMA is still working on this and so they are not making it public. And as you reported Linda, the public would be notified if an emergency requires these PODS to go into effect.

    Logic would dictate that in some areas, FEMA and the local authorities may use alternate buildings or setup a temporary location (Trailers, tents, etc., or even a shopping mall) or actually go door to door in the most rural areas. I would think that public involvement would help to create solutions that help their residents best.

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    • September 29, 2018 at 10:31 am
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      Hi Frank, you are so right about the fact few people are aware of this program. I don’t agree with the building our neighborhood has chosen. There is no way I could physically walk there to help should we have an EMP and my car does not work. I wish I could say I am physically fit to run or walk the 15 miles but I am not. All we can do is wait until we get the call and that the drugs can actually be transported via the freeway. Our drugs for Southern Utah will be coming from Colorado. May God bless this world. Linda

      Reply

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