Point Of Distribution

Point Of Distribution Information

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Have you heard about the POD program? It’s called the Point of Distribution by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and organized by our local health departments. This post was written a few years ago so I could share with people what I know about the program being offered in every city across the US. I wanted to update the information so we could all be current.

I lived in Southern Utah and the county I lived in sponsored a meeting a few years ago to discuss the point of distribution program in our area. That’s where I was first introduced to the program. It’s also called a POD.

Point Of Distribution Information

The meeting was put together to train about 100 people in our area/neighborhood jurisdiction. Their training was designed to cover all the people in our specific geographic area. PODs aren’t just for the estimated 2,500 residents who may be members of the local church whose facility was being used as the POD location.

The Washington County (Utah) Health Department asked for people in our neighborhoods who could understand the situation and be qualified to help after a major disaster.

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

The Federal Government has Limited Resources Available

The federal government will have limited PODS because they can only manage and distribute prescriptions or supplies in public health emergencies to a limited number of 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.

We have a large government agency to handle the public assistance program as designed. We need to understand that there are limited federal resources to cover the federal assistance that may be needed. DC Health.Gov

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 or two to your local health department to inquire about the program. In most cases the information is NOT available on the internet.

UPDATED INFORMATION on the Point Of Dispensary (formerly Point of Distribution)

In December 2023 I contacted our local Salt Lake County Health Department to see what they have in place as a distribution management plan. The sweet woman on the phone had never heard of the program. She was so nice to take all of my information down and connect me with the people who may know about the program. Erik Hanley, AEMT Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator got back to me on Monday. I quote:

“The Salt Lake County Health Department reception informed me that you contacted us regarding Point of Distribution (POD) training through our MRC. Unfortunately, we are not providing that training at this time. We may incorporate it in the future as we continue building out our new Volunteer Management System. However, it looks like Columbia University has a series of POD trainings if you are looking for a refresh.” Here is the link to their website: https://ncdp.columbia.edu/practice/projects/pod-training/

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Well, this link he sent me is a gold mine of information for anyone interested in the training and the different diseases and medications they anticipate needing for disease control. Here are four that stuck out for me:

Possible Scenarios:


They talk about influenza symptoms and how it spreads. Great modules to learn information about Influenza.


This one is the one I learned about in Washington County, Utah. They have modules for all of them.

Small Pox

You would think this was eradicated. I’m not in the know, and I still have the smallpox vaccination scar. I highly encourage watching the modules for information only.


It’s interesting to me the topics they discuss. The plague may come back, I’m not in the know to speculate. But we must be prepared with some protective measures for what might come back.

Point of Distribution For Shots and Prescriptions

In preparation for our meeting a few years ago, they asked for medical professionals and first responders to volunteer. That included dentists, doctors, nurses, EMTs intermediate and above, and paramedics. Also needed is anyone else who is qualified to give injections and other emergency assistance 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 or national emergency.

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.

Various distribution managers onsite provided orange vests to show what we would wear to direct our community members when and if needed for mass care.

No Sickness or Children Allowed

At the POD site, we will have greeters at the doors to ensure 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 sick comes to the POD they will be directed to see their doctor or local Instacare-type facility.

Here’s the deal with a POD or point of distribution. These PODs will be set up by FEMA and your local health department. Each is set up 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 of a possible situation in Las Vegas, Nevada. If the city was sabotaged by a terrorist group by setting canisters all over the city and then letting the Anthrax disperse.

The people affected would have only 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 representatives had to agree on the required legal documents to facilitate this activity. This is due to FEMA and county health department personnel being in charge of the church facility that’s being provided. This is even though it’s for the benefit of the public and the needs of disaster survivors.

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
Read More of My Articles  Is Your Neighborhood Prepared?

The PODS will be open to everyone no matter what faith they believe in or where they may live. All the facilities will open and close at the same time each day. The reason for this is quite simple, they don’t 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) of the PODS. They can provide guidance on where these PODS are located and when they will be open. The distribution is based on the supply chain for the medications working and that trucks can travel the roads.


These people will be hand-picked from the 100 volunteers above. Greeters must be calm and attentive. They can’t be 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. Hand out 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, and direct sick people to go see their physician or InstaCare.
  5. Hand out information about the prescriptions. Although there are no limits on prescriptions you can pick up, you must list who will be given the meds and supplies may be limited based on resource requests.
  6. Review the medications with the people.
  7. Direct to exit the area after medications are dispensed.

Security People Will Be At The Doors

People will be anxious to get the medications 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 medical care costs for the medications.

No Insurance, no Medicare, and no Medicaid is 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 from 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 and are responsible for disease information collection.

Additional medications can be shipped to us within 12 hours as long as the roads are open. We will dispense vaccinations and medications as needed and required per the disease prevention needed.

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.

Final Word

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 this world, Linda

Food Storage by Linda

CDC-ANTHRAX Information

Copyright Images: Church With Steeple depositphotos_2641541-stock-photo-beautiful-Christian-church, Man and Woman With Reflective Vests Depositphotos_13930702_S by G Goodluz

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  1. Please note that there are two types of PODs. In a disaster, the STATE NOT FEMA, open Points of Distribution to distribute bottled water and if necessary, Shelf Stable Meals? similar to military MREs. These are Drive through locations typically in large parking lots. The POD concept was developed originally in 1991 for the New Madrid Catatonic Earthquake planning project by the American Red Cross Logistics and Mass Care planning team. In 2003, the POD concept was redeveloped by the State of Florida Logistics Section by the original developer of PODs, for Hurricane commodity support. This was ADOPTED by FEMA and the US Army Corps of Engineer’s and released based on the Florida model as a national “Best Practice” and took it to a National program.

    In a HEALTH EMERGENCY, State and County Heath Departments will establish Points of Dispensing to conduct medical intake and issue medications as required under the HHS Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) program. These are walk up locations at large buildings or fair grounds.

    Credit is not properly given where it belongs, to the State, and local levels who developed these programs.

    1. Hi Matt, this is why you and I have been stocking up to take care of ourselves. This is information I’m sharing is for those major pandemics that may hit, like Anthrax. If we don’t have Cipro stocked, well you get the picture. I have the giggles over the last fiasco, funny not funny. Linda

  2. I’m with Matt on this one. Remember the Reagan quote about the scariest words in the English language. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

  3. Linda~ I believe I need to side with Matt and Ray on this one as well! I don’t feel as though I am a conspiracy theorist but, considering the past few years, I have a serious lack of confidence in our government to help in any way, shape or form!! That is why I feel the need to be prepared! I may not have all the antibiotics and necessary preps for a plague/anthrax/yada yada, but I am also not going to worry about that.

    So, given that I have said all this, I want you to know that I did know the POD in my former area of residence. Since moving to Wyoming, however, I have not had a chance to look into this. I will very soon though. How does the saying go?? “Knowledge is Power!!”” or something like that!!

    1. Hi Leanne, you are the very first person I have ever talked to that has heard about the POD’s. We are all prepared in so many ways because we have taken the initiative to be prepared. If you can stock up on Cipro, I highly recommend it. Knowledge is Power! Good one, Linda

      1. Linda, I have antibiotics on hand but certainly not enough for a serious biological outbreak! I also have herbal concoctions available for various issues. And the only reason I know anything about PODS is because of your previous post about them

        1. Hi Leanne, oh gotcha. I know you are skilled in herbal concoctions and you know by now I admire your skills! If we had a biological outbreak most people will not survive. Let’s pray we can all stay well and safe. We all need some happy holiday time, that’s for sure! Linda

  4. Very interesting article, Linda! I never knew a thing about PODs. I would be very hesitant to go to any govt anything like this. That’s the whole point of our working so hard to prepare ourselves and “bug in”. Cipro is a really good overall antibiotic and I’ve always had current prescriptions for it at our house. I thought it was funny when I read it was also for anthrax! I hope and pray this scenario is never needed but I’m afraid we’ll be bugging in.

  5. I value this information. I’m afraid, unless you are an illegal immigrant or dirt poor New York State couldn’t care less. We have come to the conclusion no matter what happens, we are on our own. I realize even our best isn’t going to be enough, but we do what we can. The next 18 month are extremely critical for our country, and possibly all salvation. Please stay safe and healthy everyone.

    1. Hi Chris, I totally agree with you on the state of our country. All we can do is do our best and the rest will just happen. I believe we will for sure be on our own and this is why I shared this article again, it was ever so subtle to stock up on antibiotics for one thing. Our house will not be done for another 3 months give or take. My anxiety is out of control, but I pray everyday we will all be okay as a country. Please stay heathy and safe. We are survivors. Linda

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