Course Overview and Course Goal

Welcome to the Guide to Points of Distribution Course!

The goal of this course is to provide foundational knowledge on the basic concept of a POD, how to establish a POD, the basic principles of POD operations, and demobilization.

This training is part of the community's planning effort to achieve success in the mission to distribute life-saving commodities to disaster survivors in an affected community.

Agenda

This course contains the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction

Lesson 2: Staffing

Lesson 3: Point of Distribution Set Up

Lesson 4: Equipment

Lesson 5: Operations

Lesson 6: Resource Accountability

Lesson 7: Safety

Lesson 8: Demobilization

Lesson 9: Conclusion

Lesson 1 Objectives

By the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Describe Points of Distribution (PODs)
  • Delineate the common forms of commodity distribution
What are Points of Distribution or PODs?

Points of Distribution (PODs) are centralized locations where the public picks up life-sustaining commodities following a disaster or emergency.

Commodities provided can include, but are not limited to, shelf-stable food, bottled water, ice, tarps, blankets, etc.

The Local Emergency Management Agency will determine the actual commodities and set quantity of each.

Distribution Systems

During a disaster, one method of issuing supplies may not be enough. There are three types of distribution systems a Local Emergency Management Agency could use: Mobile Delivery, Direct Delivery, and Points of Distribution (PODs). These can be used exclusively or all at once. All three complement each other and provide expanded distribution coverage.

  • Mobile delivery is a method that utilizes vehicles to drive into an affected area and provide commodities at different drop locations or where the need is identified. This type of distribution is common in rural areas and where roads are damaged.
  • Direct delivery is coordinating with a specific location, such as a shelter, feeding site, or hospital for the delivery of specific items and quantities. These commodities could be food, water, comfort kits, etc. Direct deliveries are usually larger in size and more specific in commodity type than what is delivered through mobile delivery.
  • Points of Distribution (PODs) are centralized points where supplies are delivered and the public travels to the site to pick up the commodities.
Points of Distribution (POD)

For this course, we will focus on Points of Distribution or PODs.

PODs can accommodate vehicle traffic (drive-through), pedestrian traffic (walk-through), and mass transit traffic (bus or rail).

Each person or vehicle receives a set amount of supplies. The recommended amount is for each person/vehicle to receive enough for a household of three. The amount of supplies provided will differ depending on the type of transportation used. For instance, more supplies are provided to someone in a car than to a pedestrian who must hand-carry items.

How Can I Get Food and Water?

“Who is the person in this photograph?”

He is a disaster survivor. He is you. He is your neighbor. He is nervous and upset. Something bad has happened in his life. Where is his support? How will he get help? How will he know where to get help? Can he call someone? What if telecommunications are down after the disaster? Can he walk to help? How far away is the nearest POD and does he know the likely location? There are a lot of issues he hasn't thought of before.

This is why individual family planning is essential and community planning for the POD mission is crucial. Everyone in your community should know – before the disaster strikes – where potential PODs are located.

A distraught man standing outside of his home which was destroyed in a natural disaster.
Personal Preparedness

While you are thinking about these issues, take a moment to think about your personal preparedness plan. Do you have a family plan? How often do you update your plan?

Family Action Plan (1 of 2)

There is a lot to do to prepare for a disaster and it's not always the most pleasant thing to think about.

Even though emergency preparation can be overwhelming, it might be less daunting to start by breaking emergency planning into smaller, easier-to-accomplish tasks.

Family Action Plan (2 of 2)

Here are a few examples of smaller, easier-to-accomplish tasks that can make up your Family Action Plan:

  • Out-of-area contact for coordination
  • Water and food stored for family
  • 72-hour comfort kit
  • Important documents in safe place

Family will be the first concern after a disaster. If you or your staff have concerns for family, you cannot concentrate on the tasks needed to help others.

Points of Distribution Video - Part One

In Part One of this video, we'll review what is a Point of Distribution (POD) and the steps for planning a smooth-running POD.

Video Transcript

Points of Distribution Video – Part One Transcript

Welcome to the Community Points of Distribution instructional overview. The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers designed this overview for the local emergency manager. This presentation will assist you with planning, operating, and closing your local distribution center.

What is a Point of Distribution? A Point of Distribution or POD is where the public goes to pick up emergency supplies following a disaster. The need for a POD is based on lack of infrastructure to support normal distribution of food, water, or other supplies.

You, the Local Emergency Management Agency, or LEMA, determines the need for a POD, the staffing of the POD, the location of the POD, and the commodities to be distributed there.

A POD should accommodate vehicle, pedestrian, mass transit traffic, or a combination of all three.

As you can see, a POD operation is complex.

There are several things you can do before the disaster to avoid scenes like this. There are also things you must do to establish a smooth-running POD like this one.

Foremost in planning is to identify potential locations. Select sites based on population density. Look at traffic patterns. Ask yourself if people will have to cross a busy street to get supplies. Will this POD location cause a traffic jam? Are there frequent or sharp turns? Can large semi-trucks get in and out of this location?

The next step in planning is to design your POD layout. The first question to ask is “What size POD do I need?” Then, “How will supplies will be distributed?” “How much should each person get?” A general quantity rule is each person or personal vehicle should receive enough for a household of three.

Have you decided where the entrance and exit will be on site? Again, look at the traffic pattern. What’s the best location? Will emergency response vehicles have easy access?

Project your equipment and personnel requirements well in advance.

Staffing is as important to success as finding the right location. Prepare to manage volunteers you never expected to appear.

Also, don’t forget a media point of contact. Publicity can make or break your POD operation.

Although there is a lot to think about, remember your success is measured by meeting the public’s needs. That’s why we emphasize the importance of planning. With a developed strategy and coordinated effort, your community will get those lifesaving commodities quickly and efficiently.

Now that you are prepared, the decision to activate a POD is yours. Take into account public need, infrastructure capability, and resources before announcing a POD location to the public. The disaster may have created limitations in communications, equipment, transportation, or personnel.

Lesson 1 Summary

In this lesson you learned how to:

  • Describe Points of Distribution
  • Delineate the common forms of commodity distribution
Lesson 2 Objectives

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Describe the organizational structure of a Point of Distribution
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of the Local Emergency Management Agency and POD staff
Organizational Structure

The Local Emergency Management Agency is the primary authority for the activation, operation, and demobilization of the PODs.

Organizational structure of Local Emergency Management Agency. Local Emergency Management Agency at the top, connected to Point of Distribution 1, Point of Distribution 2, and Point of Distribution 3
Role and Responsibility of the Local Emergency Management Agency

The determination to activate, operate, and demobilize a POD is at the discretion of the Local Emergency Management Agency.

The Local Emergency Management Agency determines the location and type of POD based on:

  • needs analysis
  • population density, and
  • current methods of commodity distribution.
Seeking Guidance from the Local Emergency Management Agency

The Local Emergency Management Agency is responsible for activating a POD. It is important not to activate without guidance from the Local Emergency Management Agency because:

  • Workers may not be covered for workers compensation or liability.
  • The Local Emergency Management Agency may not have the resources to supply the POD.
  • The Local Emergency Management Agency may not have the capability to communicate with or access the POD.
  • The Local Emergency Management Agency may decide not to utilize PODs as a form of public commodity distribution.
  • This may cause false expectations or false hope from surrounding citizens and residents.
Coordinating Activation and Designating Resources

The Local Emergency Management Agency coordinates the activation of PODs based on:

  • public need,
  • types of resources needed,
  • infrastructure capability, and
  • availability of resources.

The Local Emergency Management Agency designates resources for each POD, including the:

  • type of distributed commodity.
  • amount of distributed commodity.
  • POD material handling equipment.
Responsibilities of the Local Emergency Management Agency (1 of 3)

The Local Emergency Management Agency is responsible for:

  • Providing POD Manager training
  • Selecting POD staff and locations
    • Ensuring that POD locations support the population density, needs, and takes into account other forms of public commodity distribution
  • Registering POD workers
    • At a minimum, POD Managers should be registered as an Emergency Worker in accordance with local laws.
    • It is suggested that all POD primary staff are registered
Responsibilities of the Local Emergency Management Agency (2 of 3)

The Local Emergency Management Agency is also responsible for:

  • Activating PODs
    • Determining the need and availability of PODs for activation
  • Supplying PODs
    • Providing appropriate allocations of commodities for distribution based on population densities and expected public need
    • Providing material handling equipment and staff support resources
Responsibilities of the Local Emergency Management Agency (3 of 3)

Additional responsibilities of the Local Emergency Management Agency include:

  • Demobilizing PODs
    • Determining when to demobilize PODs based on need and infrastructure restoration
    • Coordinating the receipt of excess resources
    • Coordinating the removal of material handling equipment and staff support resources
    • Restoring sites to original specifications
    • Collecting and processing all paperwork associated with the POD
  • Conducting POD Reset
    • Coordinating the replenishment of POD Kits
    • Conducting After Action Reviews
    • Recognizing participating organizations for service to their community
POD Staff

This is the management structure of a POD. Under the direction of the POD manager, the POD operates using two teams:

  • Loading Team
  • Support Team

 

 Select this link for a full image description.

Refer to IS-26: POD Staff Slide
IS-26: POD Staff

Management Structure of a POD. The structure begins with the POD Manager, who oversees the Support Team Leader and the Loading Team Leader. The Support Team Leader supervises the Traffic Controller, Pallet Jack Operator, Community Relations, and Fork Lift Operator. The Loading Team Leader oversees the Loaders and the Site Security Officer.

POD Manager (1 of 3)

The POD Manager has overall responsibility for the safe operation of the POD. This includes all staff and resources on site throughout the activation. The POD Manager reports to the Local Emergency Management Agency for guidance and information. The POD Manager is also the primary safety officer and ensures all operations are conducted in a safe manner for the staff and the POD customers.

POD Manager (2 of 3)

The POD Manager has great responsibility for the success of the overall mission and for the individuals on the team at the POD. In addition to acting as the primary safety officer, the POD Manager also:

  • Trains the staff
    • Ensures safe operation of all equipment
    • Ensures safety measures are enforced
    • Provides a safety briefing at the beginning of each shift
  • Accomplishes a site hazard assessment daily, develops preventative safety measures, and communicates this to all staff.
  • Conducts accident investigations and develops preventative measures based on the outcome of the investigation.
POD Manager (3 of 3)

The POD Manager's additional responsibilities include:

  • Providing connectivity with the Logistics Team
    • What supplies and resources are arriving?
    • What is in the pipeline?
    • Where is it coming from?
  • Maintaining accurate accounting of POD resources
    • How much has been distributed?
    • What is left?
    • What is needed for tomorrow?
  • Recognizing the team
    • Reinforcing the importance of the teams' mission
    • Checking on the physical and mental health needs of individuals on the team
    • Acknowledging that disaster work is uniquely difficult, and it is crucial to be kind, considerate, and appreciative of the team
Support Team

The Support Team supports the loading line by:

  • Resupplying loading points
  • Unloading bulk commodities
  • Maintaining traffic control
  • Providing community relations

The Support Team consists of:

  • Support Team Leader
  • Traffic Control
  • Community Relations
  • Fork Lift Operator
  • Pallet Jack Operator
Support Team Leader

The Support Team Leader supervises all support operations including:

  • Ensuring equipment used on site has been inspected, maintained, and used in a safe manner
  • Coordinating supply truck movement on site
  • Conducting resupply operations including downloading commodities and resupplying the loading line
  • Maintaining accountability of all commodities received, on hand, and distributed from the site
  • Maintaining all paperwork relating to resource accountability and providing daily resource reports to the Local Emergency Management Agency
Traffic Controller

The Traffic Controller manages the movement of vehicles through the POD; not just customer vehicles but also tractor trailers. The Traffic Controller directly controls the movement of vehicles in the vehicle lane and oversees the safety of loaders on the vehicle line.

All issues with customer vehicles, such as breakdowns, are coordinated with and directed by the Traffic Controller or Support Team Leader.

Community Relations

It's important to have designated Community Relations staff on site to serve as the central point of contact for media and public relations. This will ensure that a common message is carried across the jurisdiction and other PODs.

The POD manager should work closely with the Community Relations staff to ensure the correct message (whether verbal or written) is being provided to the public.

The Community Relations staff works with the Local Emergency Management Agency's Public Information Officer (PIO) to distribute public information (flyers, handouts, etc.).

It is important to note that media must be directed NOT to interfere with ongoing POD operations. They must not disrupt or stop traffic flow.

Fork Lift Operator

The Fork Lift Operator manages the movement of pallets to and from the resupply vehicle(s). This includes resupplying the loading line.

It is imperative that the Fork Lift Operators have the necessary qualifications and licensure to operate the equipment.

Pallet Jack Operator

The Pallet Jack Operator is responsible for the movement of pallets to and from the loading line and removing empty pallets.

Similar to Fork Lift Operators, Pallet Jack Operators must also have the necessary qualifications and licensure to operate the equipment.

Loading Team

The Loading Team conducts loading operations and sustainment of staff. The Support Team supports the loading line by:

  • Conducting customer commodity loading
  • Sustaining staff operations including:
    • Restrooms
    • Break Areas
    • Trash Removal
    • Meals
    • Establishing Shift Schedules
The Loading Team consists of:
  • Loading Team Leader
  • Loaders
  • Site Security Officer
Loading Team Leader

The Loading Team Leader supervises all loading and sustainment operations including:

  • Loading of supplies into customer vehicles
  • Ensuring the Loading Line has adequate supplies
  • Coordinating the staff sustainment and care including:
    • Restrooms
    • Rest Areas
    • Meals
    • Shift Schedules
  • Oversees site security and coordinates with local law enforcement for assistance
Loaders are responsible for loading set quantities of supplies into customer vehicles. Loaders also coordinate with the Support Team for resupply of the loading line.
Site Security Officer

Site security is a local responsibility. Security/Law Enforcement must be assigned to critical points and traffic control. Law Enforcement must be present to resolve any issues that develop with drivers. POD staff should never get into an argument with POD customers.

The Site Security Officer is responsible for securing the POD site and ensuring and maintaining good order.

The Site Security Officer will be the primary staff member that will work with angered or agitated customers. The Site Security Officer should be a law enforcement officer or an individual trained in security operations.

Safety is paramount. Keep in mind that drivers of the individual cars are upset. Remember they may not be reacting to events in the manner they normally do. They are nervous, worried, edgy, tense...take your pick. Something bad has happened in their lives.

Lesson 2 Summary

In this lesson you learned how to:

  • Describe the organizational structure of a Point of Distribution
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of the Local Emergency Management Agency and POD staff
Lesson 3 Objectives

By the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Discuss how to develop a site layout
  • Discuss how to activate a POD
  • Discuss how to support a POD site and staff
POD Locations

POD locations should be defined in the preparedness phase. Considerations for locations include:

  • Hardstand gravel or paved with ingress and egress
  • Sites known by the public - school bus delivery areas, fairgrounds, commercial parking areas
  • Inform the public of locations prior to the event
  • Resource requirements - personnel and equipment
Developing Your Site Layout

When developing your site layout, there are several considerations to keep in mind:

  • What type of POD is needed? Vehicle, pedestrian, or mass transit? There are different set up requirements for each.
  • Are there entrance and exit concerns? Is there more than one entry/exit point?
  • What is the traffic flow around the site? Will residents have to cross a busy street? Will having a POD at this location halt the surrounding traffic and cause a traffic jam? Will this site impede emergency response vehicles?
  • Are there turns within the site or at the entry/exit points that require extra maneuvering? Can large semi-trucks get in and out without assistance?
  • Are there any hazards threatening the site or staff? Is the POD in a location that may flood? Is there debris on the site that could injure someone? Consider new hazards the disaster has created. Is there a structure that could fall on the POD? Is there a fire burning nearby that could affect the site?
Three POD Areas (1 of 2)

A POD is divided into three areas.

  • The SUPPLY LINE is where supply trucks, usually tractor-trailers, have room to unload. This area also includes staff care facilities including restroom facilities and rest tent. Having an informational bulletin board in the rest tent is a good way to keep your staff updated.
  • The LOADING LINE is where supplies are kept waiting on stacked pallets to be distributed to the public. This is also where loaders wait while vehicles are moving through the Vehicle Line.
  • The VEHICLE LINE is where the public drives through to get supplies. Entry into the vehicle line occurs only when all vehicles have come to a complete stop and the Traffic Controller has instructed the staff to "LOAD."
Three POD Areas (2 of 2)

PODs provide the same quantity of supplies to each vehicle. In the following site layout diagram, the POD is providing water (W), ice (I), shelf stable meals (M), and tarps (T).

 

 Select this link for the full image.

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to IS-26: Three POD Areas (2 of 2).
IS-26: Three POD Areas (2 of 2)

A diagram of a POD site layout. The site is divided into three lines: supply line, loading line, and vehicle line. The supply line contains a forklift, supply trucks, pallets, toilets, and a tent. The loading line contains three sets of four rectangles; each rectangle is labeled as "W," "I," "M," "T," respectively. The first grouping of rectangles is labeled as "3." The remaining two groupings of rectangles are labeled as "L." The vehicle line contains a row of vehicles travelling to the left in a single-file line in front of a light set.

Minimum Space

When setting up your POD, there is a minimum space for each area:

  • Vehicle Line - 20 feet wide
  • Loading Point - 80 feet by 40 feet each
  • Supply Line - 50 feet wide
Traffic Cones

Traffic cones are used to guide customers through the POD site. The standards for placing traffic cones are different for pedestrian and vehicle PODs.

  • For vehicles, cones should create a lane that is 12 feet wide. It is recommended that cones not be placed more than 20 feet apart.
  • For pedestrians, cones should create a lane that is 5 feet wide. Cones should not be placed more than 10 feet apart.
Signage

Signage for a POD is the same for vehicles and pedestrians.

  • POD Ahead - this sign provides directions to inbound customers in locating the entrance to the POD. There can be multiple signs placed away from the POD to give the estimated distance to the POD.
  • Enter - this sign directs customers to enter at the correct point of the vehicle lane.
  • Loading Point - each loading point should be marked so that customers know to stop for materials to be loaded.
  • Exit/Do Not Enter - this marks the vehicle lane exit. It is also important to clearly mark the opposite side of the sign with "DO NOT ENTER."
  • There are other signs you can use at a POD.
    • "This site staffed by..."
    • One Way
    • Turn Here
Loading Points

A proper layout of the loading points can ensure a smooth and efficient flow of goods through the POD. Each loading point should be 80 feet by 40 feet. These dimensions are a guide to be adjusted according to the size and quantity of commodities being distributed. In the Loading Points visual, Water (W), Ice (I), MREs (M) and Tarps (T) are being distributed. If the POD is only providing water and food, the loading point could be smaller.

Pallets of commodities must be separated at each loading point. This allows for a more efficient loading and resupply of materials. By mixing pallets of commodities, loaders have to spend additional time sorting.

 

 Select this link for the full image.

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to IS-26: Loading Points.
IS-26: Loading Points

A diagram of a loading point. It is specified that there are three cars per lane. The loading point is 150 feet by 100 feet. There are three groups of pallets. Each group of pallets contains four rows - one row of water, one row of ice, one row of MREs, and one row of tarps. On car is in front of each group of pallets. Each group of pallets is separated into two sections. The back section is 40 by 45 feet. There is a 20 foot space in between the back section and the front section. The front section is 40 feet by 15 feet.

POD Types

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has developed a typing standard for PODs. These types are Tier II resource typing definitions and, although accepted throughout most of the nation, are not yet nationally recognized.

These POD types are:

  • Type III - serves 5,000 people a day.
  • Type II - serves 10,000 people a day.
  • Type I - serves 20,000 people a day.
POD Type III

The smallest of the PODs is a Type III. A Type III POD serves 5,000 people a day based on one vehicle representing a household of 3 people. A Type III POD is 150 feet by 300 feet and requires a staff of 19 per day and 4 per night.

A Type III POD has three loading points and only one vehicle lane.

 

 Select this link for the full image.

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to IS-26: POD Type III.
IS-26: POD Type III

A diagram of a POD Type III layout. It is 300 feet by 150 feet. There are three loading points. Cars are driving in a straight line in between a light set and the loading points. There are dumpsters to the left of the loading points. Behind the loading points is a forklift, two supply trucks, two portable toilets, and a tent.

POD Type II

A Type II POD is twice the size of a Type III and serves 10,000 people a day based on one vehicle representing a household of 3 people. A Type II POD is 250 feet by 300 feet and requires a staff of 34 per day and 6 per night.

Type II POD has six loading points and two vehicle lanes.

 

 Select this link for the full image.

 Select this link for a full image description.

A diagram of a POD Type II layout. It is 300 feet by 250 feet. There are three loading points to the north and three loading points to the south. Cars are driving in two straight lines, with one line driving in front of the north loading points, and one line driving in front of the south loading points. There are dumpsters to the left of both groups of loading points. Behind both groups of loading points is a forklift, two supply trucks, two portable toilets, and a tent.
IS-26: POD Type II

A diagram of a POD Type II layout. It is 300 feet by 250 feet. There are three loading points to the north and three loading points to the south. Cars are driving in two straight lines, with one line driving in front of the north loading points, and one line driving in front of the south loading points. There are dumpsters to the left of both groups of loading points. Behind both groups of loading points is a forklift, two supply trucks, two portable toilets, and a tent.

POD Type I

The largest of the PODs is a Type I. A Type I POD serves 20,000 people a day based on one vehicle representing a household of 3 people. A Type I POD is 250 feet by 500 feet and requires a staff of 78 per day and 10 per night. Type I PODs are only used in large metropolitan areas.

A Type I POD has twelve loading points and four vehicle lanes.

 

 Select this link for the full image.

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to IS-26: POD Type I.
IS-26: POD Type I

A diagram of a POD Type I layout. It is 500 feet by 250 feet. There are four groups of three loading points. Cars are driving in four straight lines, with one line driving in front each of the loading points. There are dumpsters to the left of all groups of loading points. Behind one group of loading points is a forklift, two supply trucks, three portable toilets, and a tent. Behind another group of loading points is a light set and a forklift. Behind another group of loading points is one supply truck, a forklift, three portable toilets, and a tent. Behind the final group of loading points is a light set.

Activating a POD

The activation of a POD begins with the notification process. Once an incident occurs, the Local Emergency Management Agency determines if there is a need for a POD. If needed, the Local Emergency Management Agency determines the location, timeframe for operation, and what commodities will be provided to the public at the POD. During this time, POD staff should be taking care of their families and homes in preparation for activation.

Once the decision to activate a POD has been made, the Local Emergency Management Agency contacts the POD manager via phone, radio, or messenger and provides, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Location of the POD
  • Size of POD (Type I, II, or III)
  • Time and date POD will open
  • Type and quantity of commodities
  • Estimated date and time of first supply shipment
POD Activation Form
This POD Activation Form can be used to assist in notifying people about POD Activation.
POD ACTIVATION NOTIFICATION FORM

The following form can be used to assist in notifying people about POD activation.

Note: Line numbers are used for radio communications.

Line No.POD Activation TypeDetails
Line 1Date and Time of Message 
Line 2POD Manager Name/Org 
Line 3Location of POD 
Line 4Size (by Type) 
Line 5Date to Open 
Line 6Time to Open 
Line 7Quantity of Water per Vehicle 
Line 8Quantity of Food per Vehicle 
Line 9Type and Quantity of Other Commodity 
Line 10Date and Time of First Supply 
Line 11Local Emergency Management Agency Point of Contact (POC) 
Line 12Local Emergency Management Agency POC Number 
Notifying the POD Team

Once the POD Manager is notified, they must notify the POD team. This notification could be through a phone tree or by messenger. The team must determine how they will contact each other to activate the POD. As part of the notification, the POD Manager will determine what time the team will assemble at the POD site.

Conducting a Hazard Assessment

Once the team assembles at the POD site, the POD Manager must conduct a hazard assessment. There may be new hazards on the site in the wake of a disaster. The POD Manager decides if the site is safe for operations. If the site is deemed unsafe, the POD Manager will contact the Local Emergency Management Agency and report the findings of the hazard assessment. The Local Emergency Management Agency will determine the next steps.

POD Site Setup Checklist
If the site is deemed safe, the team will begin to set up the POD. The manager can use the POD Site Setup Checklist to assist in setting up a POD site.
POD SITE SETUP CHECKLIST

The following form can be used to assist in setting up a POD site.

POD Manager: _______________

Location: ____________________

ItemYesNoRemarks
1. Team members arrived   
2. Site hazard assessment complete   
3. Communications established with the Local Emergency Management Agency    
4. Inspect POD Kit   
5. Determine the location of the Supply, Loading, and Vehicle lines   
6. Establish the port-a-potty location   
7. Establish the dumpster location   
8. Establish the break area location   
9. Set up traffic cones around the vehicle line   
10. Ensure supply trucks can enter and exit   
11. Assign staffing positions   
12. Distribute PPE   
13. Conduct a safety briefing   
14. Determine signage locations   
15. Receive port-a-potties   
16. Receive dumpster   
17. Receive pallet jack   
18. Receive first supply   
19. Notify the Local Emergency Management Agency that the POD is ready for opening   
20. Put up signage   
21. Open POD   
22. Notify the Local Emergency Management Agency that the POD is open   

Other Remarks:

POD Manager Initials: ______________

Date and Time Complete: ___________

Assigning Positions

The POD Manager assigns positions based on who is available and who is trained for specific positions.

The order for filling staff positions is:

  • Team Leaders (Support and Loading)
  • Traffic Controller
  • Community Relations
  • Pallet Jack Operator
  • Loaders (one per loading point)
  • Security Officer
  • Additional Loaders

For new staff and spontaneous volunteers, you may have to provide some Just-in-Time training.

Receiving Supplies

By the time you receive your first supply shipment, you should have at least one pallet jack on site for handling the movement of pallets. When receiving supplies, it is important to track the material that comes in. This is discussed in further detail in Lesson 6: Resource Accountability.

After direction from the Local Emergency Management Agency on the POD Type, you will know how many loading points to establish. When setting up a loading point, follow the guidelines provided at the beginning of this lesson.

Once you have your first supply, coordinate with your Local Emergency Management Agency to determine when to open the POD to the public. No earlier than 30 minutes before opening, place your signage out. This will reduce traffic in the area and set a reasonable expectation with the public. When the site opens, contact the Local Emergency Management Agency to confirm operations.

Supporting a POD Site and Staff (1 of 2)

The POD kit has supplies for the site and individual staff positions. At each POD location, it is best to have POD kit(s) on site to support the initial setup of the POD. Each POD kit is designed for a Type III POD. If a Type II POD is established at that site, the site should have two kits. A Type I POD would need four kits.

This printable checklist contains all of the items within a POD kit.

POD KIT CHECKLIST
  • One (1) 96 gal trash can, wheeled (for storage of the kit)
  • Sixteen (16) pairs of leather work gloves
  • Four (4) rolls of duct tape
  • Nineteen (19) battery-powered (D-cell) flashlights
  • Nineteen (19) reflective safety vests
  • One (1) First Aid Kit
  • Twelve (12) 36”, reflective traffic cones
  • Sixteen (16) safety hard hats
  • Thirty (30) orange or red glow sticks
  • Thirty six (36) D-cell, batteries
  • Eight (8) medium back support belts or vests
  • Eight (8) large back support belts or vests
  • One (1) 5 lb. fire extinguisher
In addition to the resources available in the POD Kit, the site will need, at a minimum, a dumpster, portable restroom, break area, and light set. These will provide support for the staff and allow for safer working conditions.
Supporting a POD Site and Staff (2 of 2)

In addition to the resources available in the POD kit, the site will need, at a minimum, a dumpster, portable restroom, break area, and light set. These will provide support for the staff and allow for safer working conditions.

Lesson 3 Summary

In this lesson you learned how to:

  • Discuss how to develop a site layout
  • Discuss how to activate a POD
  • Discuss how to support a POD site and staff
Lesson 4 Objectives

By the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Describe the equipment often used at a POD site
Parts of a Pallet

This diagram lists the parts of a pallet. Notice where the wheel opening is for the tines of a pallet jack or forklift. This is a large rectangular opening on one side of the pallet.

 

 Select this link for the full image.

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to IS-26: Parts of a Pallet.
IS-26: Parts of a Pallet

A diagram of a pallet showing the parts of a pallet. Hand pallet and forklift truck opening, wheel opening, bottom deckboards, bottom deck opening, stringer notch, stringer foot, top deck opening, pallet end and width, pallet side and length, opening height, overall height, chamfer, center stringer, butted end deckboards, bottom lead (end) deckboard, outer stringer (runner), top interior (inner) deckboard, and top lead (end) deckboards. There is a large, rectangular opening for the wheels and forks of a pallet jack on one side of the pallet.

Parts of a Pallet Jack

The main parts of a pallet jack are the forks, handle, and actuating lever.

Before inserting the pallet jack into the pallet, ensure that the forks are in their lowest position.

A line drawing of a pallet jack, with two forks over a set of wheels. There is a set of double wheels directly under the pole of the handle. The handle has two grips with a small actuating lever.
Operating the Forks

Raise the forks by pushing the actuating lever down (R position on diagram) and pumping the handle up and down. A one inch clearance between the floor and pallet is usually sufficient.

Put the actuating lever in a neutral or middle position (N position on diagram) to move the load. This position disengages the lifting mechanism and frees the handle from hydraulic resistance, but keeps the forks raised. When the lever is released, it will automatically return to the neutral position.

Lower the forks by pulling the actuating lever up (L position on diagram) and holding it there until the forks come to a resting position.

A line drawing of the handle and actuating lever on the pallet jack. An arrow points out the rounded sides of the handle. Another arrow points out the actuating lever and its three possible positions, left (up), neutral, and right (down).
Pallet Jack Hazards

Some of the hazards associated with pallet jacks include:

  • Load balancing
  • Pushing the pallet jack versus pulling
  • Controlling the speed of the pallet jack without the assistance of breaks
  • Tripping hazard associated with the forks and handle
Pallet Jack Safety

To mitigate these hazards, follow the following safety rules:

  • Always wear provided protective equipment
  • Stay out of the vehicle lane when vehicles are moving
  • Be alert to your surroundings
  • Avoid moving loads up or down ramps
  • Do not carry riders
  • Center the forks evenly under the load to maintain good balance
  • Avoid overloading
  • Ensure the stability of the load
  • Use both forks for lifting a load
  • Pull rather than push loads for increased maneuverability
  • Maneuvering loads using the neutral position reduces operator fatigue
  • Operate at a controllable speed, since hand pallet trucks do not have brakes
  • Park the pallet truck out of traffic areas in a safe, level place with the forks lowered
  • The handle should be left in the up position to eliminate tripping hazards
Parts of a Forklift

The main parts of a forklift are:

  • Mast
  • Carriage
  • Forks
  • Drive Tires
  • Steer Tires
  • Overhead Guard

 

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to IS-26: Parts of a Forklift.
IS-26: Parts of a Forklift

A forklift with each of its parts labeled. The overhead guard is a cage-like structure protecting the driver. The mast is the mechanism on the side of the forklift that lifts and lowers the carriage. The carriage situated on the front of the forklift holds the load. The forks and the fork heel, which jut out in front of the forklift balance the load. The drive tires are the larger set of tires in the front of the vehicle. The steer tires are a smaller set in the back of the vehicle.

Parking a Forklift

When parking a forklift, it is important to follow these steps for safety:

  1. Park forklift on flat level surface.
  2. Tilt mast to vertical position.
  3. Lower forks to floor.
  4. Shut engine off.
  5. Lock drive wheels.

 Select this link for a full image description.

IS-26: Parking a Forklift

A numbered diagram of a forklift. Number one indicates the flat level surface. Number 2 indicates tilting the mast to a vertical position. Number 3 directs lowering the forks to the floor. Number 4 directs shutting the engine off. Number 5 directs to lock drive wheels.

Forklift Hazards

Some of the hazards associated with forklifts include:

  • Decreased visibility especially when carrying a load
  • Lift height
  • Stability on uneven (not level) surfaces
  • Steering and turning radius when loaded
  • Working around pedestrians
Forklift Safety (1 of 3)

To mitigate these hazards, follow these safety rules:

  • Only authorized and trained personnel (with current certification) will operate the forklift.
  • Seatbelt must be worn by the operator at all times.
  • Always wear provided protective equipment.
  • Stay out of the vehicle lane when vehicles are moving.
  • Be alert to your surroundings.
  • Loads will be tilted back and carried no more than 6 inches from the ground.
  • Loads that restrict the operator's vision will be transported backwards.
Forklift Safety (2 of 3)

More forklift safety rules:

  • Forklifts will travel no faster than 5 mph or no faster than a normal walk.
  • Operator will sound horn and use extreme caution when meeting pedestrians, making turns, and cornering.
  • Operator will assure load does not exceed rated weight limits.
  • Grades will be ascended or descended slowly. When ascending or descending grades in excess of 10 percent, loaded trucks will be driven with the load upgrade. On all grades the load and load engaging means will be tilted back if applicable, and raised only as far as necessary to clear the road surface.
Forklift Safety (3 of 3)

Final forklift safety rules:

  • Do not carry riders
  • Center the forks evenly under the load to maintain good balance
  • Avoid overloading
  • Ensure the stability of the load
  • Use both forks for lifting a load
  • Pull rather than push loads for increased maneuverability
  • Maneuvering loads using the neutral position reduces operator fatigue
  • Operate at a controllable speed, since hand pallet trucks do not have brakes
  • When unattended, forklifts will be turned off, forks lowered to the ground and parking brake applied
Light Towers

A light tower is used to provide portable lighting and power to the POD site. There are six major systems on a light tower:

  • Trailer
  • Engine/Generator
  • Trailer Stabilization System
  • Light Mast
  • Light Fixtures
  • Electrical System

 

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to IS-26: Light Towers.
IS-26: Light Towers

Parts of a light tower, from left to right. Light fixtures, mast lock, lift slots, lift winch, light mast, tilt lock, jack, coupler handle, coupler, safety chains, tilt winch, tow bar, trailer, engine/generator compartment, lift slot, lift slot, trailer outriggers, and muffler. One zoomed-in section on the lower right shows the left jack, right jack, jack lock pin, outriggers stowed, outrigger lock, and outrigger. The zoomed-in section on the lower left shows the outriggers extended.

Light Tower Set Up (1 of 4)

To set up the light tower:

  1. Locate a suitable, level location. Ensure there are no overhead wires or obstructions.
  2. Apply and check the parking brake (if equipped).
  3. Disconnect the safety chains and trailer light connector from the tow vehicle.
  4. Pull the pin on the Front Jack and rotate the jack 90 degrees to the vertical position.
  5. Move the Coupler Handle to the vertical position to release the ball hitch.
  6. Use the jack to raise the trailer Coupler from the ball hitch of the tow vehicle.
  7. Move the tow vehicle away from the light tower.
Light Tower Set Up (2 of 4)

After you have moved the tow vehicle away from the light tower:

  1. Pull the Outrigger Lock for the right jack and fully extend the right outrigger. Lock the outrigger into position using the Outrigger Lock.
  2. Pull the Jack Lock Pin for the right jack and rotate the jack to the vertical position. Lock the jack in its vertical position using the Jack Lock Pin.

 

Light Tower Set Up (3 of 4)

After locking the jack in its vertical position:

  1. Follow steps 8 and 9 for the left outrigger and jack.
  2. Adjust the three jacks to level the trailer.
  3. With the Light Mast in its stowed position, install or reposition the light fixtures to the desired placement when the tower is raised.
  4. Pull the Mask Lock pin so the mast is no longer secured in the stowed position.
  5. Pull the Tilt Lock pin so it is not in the way when the mast is raised.
  6. Use the Tilt Winch to raise the mast to the vertical position.
Light Tower Set Up (4 of 4)

Once you raise the tilt mast to the vertical position:

  1. Secure the mast in the vertical position by inserting and locking the Tilt Lock pin.
  2. Use the Lift Winch to raise the mast to the desired height.
  3. To rotate the lights, loosen the Mast Rotation Lock, rotate the mast, and tighten the Mast Rotation Lock.
  4. Start the generator with the lights off.
  5. Once the generator is running at operating speed, turn on each light, one at a time.
  6. To stow the light tower, follow the same instructions in reverse.
Lesson 4 Summary

In this lesson you learned how to:

  • Describe the equipment often used at a POD site
Lesson 5 Objectives

By the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Describe the general conditions and vehicle line operations
  • Explain the ordering and resupply process
  • Identify equipment maintenance procedures
How to Operate a POD

Recall from Lesson 1 that PODs can accommodate vehicle traffic (drive-through), pedestrian traffic (walk-through), and mass transit traffic (bus or rail).

PODs are generally open to the public for 12 hours a day. This reduces the amount of time the POD is open in low-light conditions.

The Local Emergency Management Agency will coordinate resupply during the 12 hours the POD is closed. The POD will work with the Local Emergency Management Agency to determine the hours of operation, but it is recommended that the open hours be from 7am to 7pm and resupply from 7pm to 7am.

Rest and Meal Breaks

The POD Manager will determine breaks for staff including meal breaks. Due to the physical nature of the work, it is recommended that staff get a ten-minute break every hour and a twenty-minute meal break. Ideally, food will be provided by the Local Emergency Management Agency at least twice a day (noon and midnight). However, if the situation does not allow delivery of hot food, POD staff are permitted to utilize the shelf-stable meals and water on site for meal breaks.

POD Divisions

As already discussed, a POD is divided into three areas:

  1. The Supply Line
  2. The Loading Line
  3. The Vehicle Line
POD Operation (1 of 2)

When vehicles approach the POD:

  • The Traffic Controller stands at the front of the vehicle line where all vehicle drivers in the lane can see them.
  • When the front vehicle is adjacent to the front-loading station, the Traffic Controller signals the vehicle to stop. Each vehicle behind the first vehicle stops as well.
POD Operation (2 of 2)

Once all vehicles come to a stop:

  • The Traffic Controller blows one long whistle blast and says, with a projected voice, "LOAD." "LOAD" is echoed by the Loaders.
  • The Loaders then load a set amount of supplies from the pallets into the trunk of the vehicle.
  • Once the Loaders complete loading supplies into the vehicle, they step back to the loading line and speak with a projected voice, "CLEAR."
  • When the Traffic Controller hears "CLEAR," she or he visually verifies that all staff and Loaders have cleared the vehicle line and, using hand signals, instructs the vehicles to depart the POD and blows a long whistle blast.
  • The next set of vehicles enters the vehicle lane and the process repeats.
Ordering and Resupply

Remember, each person receives a set amount of supplies. These supplies are determined by assuming each person or vehicle is provided supplies for a household of three.

It is not uncommon for the State to push out 100% of available resources on the first day with no back up until additional commodities arrive later. That is why you cannot over-distribute early - you will run out later in the day! POD personnel must be instructed not to "fill the trunk" with commodities until a strong pipeline can be assured.

Consumption Rates

Consumption Rates are determined by the number of customers through a POD per day. This information must be passed on to the Local Emergency Management Agency each day. This helps to determine POD needs and quantity of supplies to provide.

Ordering

When providing your consumption rates to the Local Emergency Management Agency, you should also order any supplies you need on the site. Supplies could include fuel for equipment or expendable POD equipment (gloves, vests, etc.).

Off Loading Supply Trucks

Resupply should be conducted during the night. The night crew must assist with unloading any supply trucks and organizing the supply and loading lines with the new resources. Commodities should be organized on a first-in/first-out basis.

Resupplying Loading Points

Loading points should be restocked during the night from the supply delivery. During the day, empty pallets should be cleared from the loading line and stored in the supply line for pick-up the following night. It is also advisable to replace empty pallets with full pallets close to the vehicle line to reduce loaders walking excessively to and from the vehicle line.

Daily Maintenance

On-site equipment must be checked daily to ensure proper working order. The forklift (if on site) should be inspected following the checklist. A similar inspection must be conducted on the pallet jack(s), light tower(s), and other equipment on site.

Break Downs

If, during your inspection or during use, the equipment breaks down, contact the Local Emergency Management Agency to get a maintenance technician or replacement equipment.

Refueling

Generators and light towers should be refueled twice a day prior to shift change. Be sure to follow the owner's manual for proper refueling procedures.

Lesson 5 Summary

In this lesson you learned how to:

  • Describe the general conditions and vehicle line operations
  • Explain the ordering and resupply process
  • Identify equipment maintenance procedures
Lesson 6 Objectives

By the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Identify the equipment on the site
  • List the supplies received and distributed
  • Account for current staffing levels
  • Describe coordination of media and community relations
Time and Resource Accounting (1 of 2)

How do you know what equipment is on the POD site?

How will you account for the supplies coming into the POD and being issued to the public?

How will you keep track of your staff?

Time and Resource Accounting (2 of 2)

Accounting for all personnel, equipment, and supplies at your POD is one of the manager's primary responsibilities. Accuracy in this effort helps ensure that staffing levels are adequate to the task, supplies for the public are maintained at needed levels, and equipment on the site is returned to its point of origin. Additionally, the reports and forms will be used by the Local Emergency Management Agency to recoup costs once the disaster winds down.

You will need to put together three files for this purpose:

  • Equipment
  • Resources
  • Staffing
Equipment Inventory

It's important to keep an equipment inventory. Your POD could have equipment from several different sources - two forklifts from two different rental agencies, a POD kit from the Local Emergency Management Agency, and a borrowed pallet jack from a local business. Keeping track of inventory allows you to know what you should have on hand for use and provides an easy reference tool to get items back to their point of origin when closing the POD.

Defective or missing equipment should also be reported. You may request a replacement, although in a major disaster, replacements may not be immediately available.

Equipment Inventory Form

An Equipment Inventory Form can serve as the basis for your equipment file.

In order to provide additional detailed information, be sure and keep copies of any equipment transfer forms and inventories (such as the POD Kit inventory) in your file as back up to this form Include on the Equipment Form:

  • The date you received the equipment
  • What kind of equipment you received
  • The serial number (if any)
  • The condition of the equipment (i.e., "complete" for kits, "leaking hydraulics," "dented front right fender," "no defects," etc.)
  • Where the equipment came from
  • The equipment location in the POD (supply line, loading line, etc.)

Printable Sample Equipment Inventory Form.

Equipment Inventory Form
The following form can be used to assist in recording a complete list of equipment on site and provides a quick reference when closing the POD and returning equipment.
DateTypes of EquipmentSerial NumberConditionOther Name (Company, Jurisdiction) Location
 POD Kit    
      
      
      
Vehicle Counts

Vehicle counts are important for a number of reasons. By gathering basic statistics on the number of customers served, you can gain an understanding of what will be needed to continue to provide goods at each POD. In addition, it helps the POD manager track the actual amount of goods issued so that they can report on this.

To that end, there should be a Check-in Specialist position. This person should keep a running tally on a clipboard as vehicles arrive at the check-in-point and provide the information to the POD manager upon request.

Receiving Supplies

As supplies arrive at the POD, the manager should use the trucker's Bill of Lading or Mission Assignment Form to account for the supplies being delivered. If there is a discrepancy, the manager should contact the point of origination (the staging area or vendor) and discuss the difference. If a resolution of the discrepancy cannot be reached, the manager should make a note of the discrepancy (and steps taken) on the form before signing. Do not sign the form without including this information. In any case, the manager should never accept supplies without signing for them.

Daily Inventory Reporting

Daily reporting of inventory to the Local Emergency Management Agency allows accurate restocking. The Local Emergency Management Agency will tell you when and how to report each day (they may want a verbal report instead of a written one) and what elements of information it wants. Usually, the basic items to report for each type of supply are:

  • Quantities received
  • Quantities distributed
  • Quantities on hand

Using a supply inventory form will help you keep track.

Supply Inventory Form

The Supply Inventory Form will provide the basis for your supply file. Be sure to keep Bills of Lading or Mission Forms as back-up to this, or any form that you use. Vehicle counts are also useful documentation in this file.

The Supply Inventory Form is useful for capturing all incoming and outgoing supplies, as well as balancing inventory levels. The form itself may or may not be required by the Local Emergency Management Agency, but the information you gather will need to be reported.

Select this link for a printable Sample Supply Inventory Form.

POD Supply Inventory Form
The following form can be used for daily inventory tracking and can be provided to the Local Emergency Management Agency.
DateTimeMission #Type of SupplyQty RecQty DistBal on Hand
       
       
       
       
Receiving Inventory

As inventory is received, enter on the Supply Inventory Form the date, time, truck number, mission number from the trucker's mission form, the type of supply (water, MRE, etc.), the quantity received, and the new balance on hand at the POD. For supplies being issued, make entries at regular intervals during the operational period. A suggestion is to do this hourly, but you decide when this will be for your POD. For these entries, record the date, the time, the type of supply, the amount distributed and the balance on hand. You may decide to use a form for each type of supply or use one form for all types. The Supply Inventory Form is useful because it allows you to keep track of your supplies on a regular basis and keep better control of your inventory.

POD Daily Report
Another suggestion for reporting is to use a POD Daily Report. This example of a POD Daily Report Form is provided for that purpose. Enter only the balances on this form and use your inventory form as detailed back up.
POD Daily Report
The following form can be used to assist in recording a daily summary. Enter only the balances on this form and use your inventory form as detailed back up.
Line No.POD ReportingDetails
Line 1Date of Message 
Line 2Time of Message 
Line 3Manager Last Name 
Line 4Managing Organization 
Line 5Location 
Line 6Date Opened 
Line 7Quantity of Water Received (gal) 
Line 8Quantity of Water Distributed (gal) 
Line 9Quantity of Food Received (each) 
Line 10Quantity of Food Distributed (each) 
Line 11Quantity and Type of Other Commodity Received 
Line 12Quantity and Type of Other Commodity Distributed 
Line 13Number of Day Staff 
Line 14Number of Night Staff 
Line 15Number of Unassigned Staff 
Line 16Number of Spontaneous Volunteers 
Line 17Initials of Reporting Manager 
Staff Reporting

Daily reporting of staffing to the Local Emergency Management Agency helps the agency keep a handle on POD activities and your staffing needs.

At a minimum, you should be prepared to include the number of people assigned to the day shift and night shift. If you have unassigned personnel, they may be able to use them at another location. The reverse is also true - another site may have extra people and you need them. Additionally, it is very important that spontaneous volunteers are reported to the Local Emergency Management Agency.

Staff Report

The Staff Report is another tool for documenting POD activity. Basic elements of personnel report are:

  • Assigned personnel
  • Unassigned personnel, and
  • Spontaneous volunteers

As with inventory reporting, the Local Emergency Management Agency will tell you when and how to report each day, and what elements of information are needed. The Daily Activity Report is a part of emergency worker management and is a good way to gather the reporting information you need.

Staff Reporting Form

The Emergency Management Division in Washington State has a Sample Staff Reporting Form for your reference.

Keep a form like this Sample Staff Reporting Form in your staff file. It is useful for capturing data on staffing levels and activities. A new form should be completed each day (including the day shift and night shift). Enter the incident information at the top as soon as you get the form. The mission number and incident name will be provided by Local Emergency Management Agency. The unit name and address are the name and location of your POD.

Each member of your team, including yourself, should be entered on the report. Include:

  • Name
  • Worker number or Driver's License number
  • Which position you assigned them to
  • Time began working, time they stopped, and total hours worked

On the sample form, you can see multiple columns for "TIME IN" and "TIME OUT" for when individuals need to leave for a period of time. The "TOTAL MILES" column is to record total mileage of those who need to commute and/or are sent on a mission during their shift.

It is extremely important that you record all personnel working on this form as it becomes a part of the official record for the disaster. It is especially important to record spontaneous volunteers as this form is their proof that they worked the disaster.

Summary Reporting

The POD Daily Report, as discussed previously, is ultimately needed by the Local Emergency Management Agency. The Local Emergency Management Agency may ask you to do your daily report verbally or written in summary form and collect more detailed forms later. As with inventory reporting, the daily reporting form can be useful for summary reporting.

Keep in mind, accounting is an essential part of POD operations. There is a cost share between the state and the federal government. Documentation from your POD may be requested to make sure billing is accurate.

Volunteers

At your POD site, you may get volunteers willing to assist you. These volunteers may be from your organization, friends of your staff, or spontaneous public volunteers. You must coordinate the decision to accept volunteers with your Local Emergency Management Agency. If the decision is to allow additional volunteers on the POD site, they must follow the same rules and procedures as the trained staff. This includes signing in just as the regular staff does each day.

Media

The media may wish to visit your POD site. This must be coordinated with your Local Emergency Management Agency's Public Information Officer (PIO). All questions from the media must be directed to that PIO. This ensures a common message across the jurisdiction and other PODs. Your Community Relations staff and POD Manager will be the primary points of contact for media inquiries. Additionally, the media must be directed to not interfere with ongoing POD operations, such as stopping or disrupting traffic flowing in and out of the POD site.

Public Relations

Your Community Relations staff will also provide information to POD customers. This information is provided by Local Emergency Management Agency's PIO. The information may be verbal or through handout flyers. The POD Manager should work closely with the Community Relations staff to ensure correct messages are being provided.

Points of Distribution Video - Part Two

In this video clip, we'll review the POD staffing, supply levels, supply chain flow, and interaction with the media.

Video Transcript

Points of Distribution Video - Part Two Transcript

Residents are dealing with enough difficulties. Be careful not to add false hope to the list.

Once you make the decision to activate, assemble a team. A POD team consists of a Manager, a Loading Team, and a Support Team. The manager is responsible for everything at the POD; staffing and supply levels, supply chain flow, safety, and reporting.

Under the direction of the manager, the Loading Team conducts loading operations. They keep the vehicles moving safely through the line.

The Support Team resupplies, unloads bulk commodities, and sustains staff operations including rest areas and trash removal. A public information officer is part of the Support team Too. You will need one on site to talk to the media and provide information to residents.

Safety at the POD site is paramount! Inspect your work area daily, wear proper gear, and report injuries or incidents immediately.

Each LEMA has different issues to consider. You can see why planning ahead is vital to your POD operation and your community's recovery.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has developed a typing standard for PODs which you may want to adopt.

Type III POD is the smallest. It is 150 feet by 300 feet. A staff of 19 personnel supports three loading points and one vehicle lane. This POD can serve 5000 people per day.

Type II POD is 250 feet by 300 feet. A staff of 34 personnel supports six loading points and two vehicle lanes. This POD serves 10,000 people a day.

Type I is the largest and measures 250 feet by 500 feet. A staff of 78 personnel supports 12 loading points and four vehicle lanes. A Type I is only used in large metropolitan areas and serves 20,000 people per day.

Here is an actual type III POD being set up.

PODs are generally open to the public for twelve hours a day. Recommended hours are 7am to 7pm.

Shutting down for re-supply from 7pm to 7am is a good practice. Staff numbers decrease. This gives your personnel and volunteers a break. This also reduces the amount of time the POD is open to the public in low light conditions.

Now the POD is ready to open.

A vehicle enters the POD through a 12-foot wide lane marked with traffic cones. The Traffic Controller stands at the front where everyone can see them and signals a vehicle to stop.

Once everyone stops, the Traffic Controller blows one long whistle blast and shouts “LOAD!”

“LOAD” is echoed by the loaders.

The Loaders load supplies into the car then step back and shout “CLEAR."

The Traffic Controller visually verifies that everyone has cleared the line. Another long whistle blasts, followed by a hand signal. The next one enters the line and the process repeats.

The POD Manager monitors the burn rate to keep the supply chain flowing. The consumption rate is reported to LEMA each day. Once the disaster winds down, these inventory reports validate costs and are used to recoup costs.

Lesson 6 Summary

In this lesson you learned how to:

  • Identify the equipment on the site
  • List the supplies received and distributed
  • Account for current staffing levels
  • Describe coordination of media and community relations
Lesson 7 Objectives

By the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Discuss the POD Manager's role in safety
  • Identify safety equipment, techniques, and procedures
  • Identify workplace violence risks
Hazard vs. Risk

As we look at POD safety, it is important to understand the difference between a hazard and a risk. A hazard is an inherent property or source of danger such as "height." A risk is the extent to which a hazard such as "height" can cause harm. For example, what are the chances of falling? Risks from hazards can be reduced or removed by taking safety precautions. However, you cannot remove the underlying hazard itself.

Safety Practices (1 of 2)

Safety practices include:

  • Inspecting the work area daily
  • Being an observer: stay alert — THINK
  • Housekeeping
  • Asking questions
  • Reporting inquiries/incidents/illnesses
  • Reporting safety issues to your supervisor
Safety Practices (2 of 2)

It's been said many times before, but it's still true: Good safety practices include everyone on the worksite. All workers should inspect their work area daily and be aware of changing hazards. Always be alert to your surroundings and stop any unsafe act you observe.

  • One way to be safe is to keep your assigned work area clean and clear of hazards.
  • The best defense to hazards is to think! Think through your actions before you do them.
  • If you have a question regarding safety, do not hesitate to ask a co-worker or supervisor.
  • If an injury, incident, or illness occurs on the worksite, report it to your supervisor and fill out the proper paperwork. It is important for your safety and the safety of others to report any safety issues you observe to your supervisor.
POD Manager's Site Safety Role (1 of 2)

The POD Manager is the primary safety officer and is responsible for the safety of all staff and visitors to the site. The POD Manager trains the staff on proper and safe operation of all equipment and ensures safety measures are enforced. The POD Manager conducts safety training with staff and provides a safety briefing at the beginning of each shift. The POD Manager accomplishes a site hazard assessment daily and develops preventive safety measures and communicates this to all staff. Most importantly, the POD Manager sets the example for the rest of the staff in their actions. This encourages positive behavior from the staff and assists in the enforcement of safety rules.

POD Manager's Site Safety Role (2 of 2)

The POD Manager conducts accident investigations and develops preventive measures based on the outcome of the investigation. Additionally, the POD Manager should be open to the observations of their staff. A daily safety briefing must be presented to all POD staff at the start of each shift.

The safety brief should contain, at a minimum, the following information:

  • Review of the Daily Site Hazard Assessment Form
  • Reminder to use and care for PPE
  • Prevention of weather-related injuries
  • Changes to the HAZMAT on site
  • Any additional safety items for discussion

Printable Daily Site Hazard Assessment Form.

DAILY SITE HAZARD ASSESMENT FORM

Inspected by: _____________________________________________ Date: ______________________

Location: _______________________________________________Date:______________________

Assessment AreasYesNoComments
Training:   
Is each person assigned to a job within their capability?   
Did each person receive a safety brief at shift change?   
Is training on PPE and equipment provided?   
Environment:   
Are resources available to deal with very hot or very cold conditions? (drinking water, heated tent, shade)   
Does staff know the symptoms of heat cramps, heat stroke, hypothermia?   
Is the level of light adequate for safe and comfortable performance of work?   
Housekeeping:   
Is the work area clear of debris and tripping hazards?   
Are materials properly stacked and spaced?   
Are work areas clear of fluid spills or leakage?   
Are aisles and passageways clear of obstructions?   
Are walkways clear of holes, loose debris, protruding nails, and loose boards?   
Is the break area kept clean and sanitary?   
Are the dumpsters being serviced properly?   
Are the restrooms (portable or fixed) clean, sanitary and restocked?   
Personal Protective Equipment:   
Is required equipment provided, maintained and used?   
Does equipment meet requirements?   
Are warning signs prominently displayed in all hazard areas?   
Material Handling and Storage:   
Is there safe clearance for all equipment through aisles and doors?   
Is stored material stable and secure?   
Are storage areas free from tipping hazards?   
Are only trained operators allowed to operate forklifts?   
Do personnel use proper lifting techniques?   
Vehicle Traffic:   
Are cones placed to direct traffic?   
Is the vehicle line free of pedestrians when vehicles are moving?   
Are pedestrian and vehicular traffic separated?   
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS OR CONCERNS
Accident Notification and Investigation

Be sure to inform the Local Emergency Management Agency of any accidents immediately. Any accidents could result in claims. Early notification will help identify if there is a process problem that may occur in other PODs and needs to be fixed.

When an injury or incident occurs on the POD site, an accident investigation must be conducted by the POD Manager. This investigation aids in recognizing workplace hazards and reducing further risk by implementing mitigation efforts. These reports allow the POD Manager to identify trends in accidents and assists with the filing of workers' compensation claims. At no time are these reports intended to place blame on an individual or group.

Accident and Incident Investigation Forms

Forms used during an accident and incident investigation include:

  • OSHA's Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
    • This form is used to record and classify work-related injuries and illnesses. Whenever an incident occurs, use this form to note details regarding what happened.
  • OSHA's Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses
    • This form shows the total number of work-related injuries and illnesses for the year. It must be posted in a location visible to employees.
  • OSHA's Form 301: Injury and Illness Incident Report
    • This form must be filled out within seven calendar days after you receive information that a work-related injury or illness has occurred, alongside OSHA Form 300: Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.
These forms can be located and retrieved at OSHA's site for Injury & Illness Recordkeeping Forms
Accident and Incident Reporting Requirements

A major accident occurs when there is a fatality, or an incident causes two or more persons to be taken to the hospital. If a major accident occurs, the POD Manager must contact the Local Emergency Management Agency immediately. The POD Manager will complete an Accident Investigation Report and provide that to the Local Emergency Management Agency.

Proper Lifting (1 of 2)

For safety reasons, proper lifting technique is necessary at any POD.

Improper lifting can lead to back, leg, and arm pain. Poor techniques can cause both acute injury and serious chronic effects. Proper lifting will help you avoid these problems.

When carrying a load, ensure you carry it close to your body. If not, you will be forcing your body to carry more weight due to the lever effect.

 

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to Proper Lifting (1 of 2).
Proper Lifting (1 of 2)

Pertinent visual information:

An outline of a person lifting a paint can away from their body is shown. Text on the image includes "100 lbs." with an arrow pointing to the character's lower back and additional text "10 lbs." with an arrow pointing to a paint can. Text "Lever effect - can magnify weight by factor of up to 10" is above the graphic of two characters on a teeter totter. The center of gravity is pictured very close to the end of the teeter totter with the character in the air. Text "200 lbs." is near the character in the air and the text "40 lbs." is near ground at the other end. The image demonstrates lighter weight with more leverage can lift heavier weight into air.

Proper Lifting (2 of 2)

Proper lifting is accomplished using a four-step process:

  1. Plan ahead
  2. Lift close to your body
  3. Place feet shoulder width apart
  4. Bend your knees and keep your back straight

 

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to Proper Lifting (2 of 2).
Proper Lifting (2 of 2)

A person is bent down close to a box with the text "Stand close to the load." An arrow points to the text "Bend your knees - not your back!" A person lifting box with knees bent is shown. An arrow pointing to the text "Let your legs do the lifting." Two people lifting a box together is shown with the text "Get help with heavy or awkward loads." A person using a moving dolly to move several boxes is shown with the text "Use the right tools."

Proper Lifting Steps (1 of 4)

Proper Lifting: Step 1 - Plan ahead.

Before attempting to lift or move something heavy, step back and analyze what needs to be accomplished. How heavy is the object? How far does it have to be moved, and where is it going to end up? What is the shape of the object? Is it cumbersome? Will it be easily manipulated? Is it a two-person job? Is there anything in the way that needs to be moved prior to lifting?

Proper Lifting Steps (2 of 4)

Proper Lifting: Step 2 - Lift close to your body.

You will be a stronger and more stable lifter if the object is held close to your body rather than at the end of your reach. Make sure you have a firm hold on the object you are lifting, and keep it balanced close to your body.

Proper Lifting Steps (3 of 4)

Proper Lifting: Step 3 - Feet shoulder width apart.

Stand directly in front of the load with feet about shoulder width apart. One foot should be in front of the other for balance. A solid base of support is important while lifting. Holding your feet too close together will be unstable, too far apart will hinder movement. Keep the feet about shoulder width apart and take short steps.

Proper Lifting Steps (4 of 4)

Proper Lifting: Step 4 - Bend your knees and keep your back straight.

Bend the knees and tighten the stomach muscles. Using both hands, grasp the object firmly and pull it as close as possible to your body. Since leg muscles are stronger than back muscles, lift with the legs until they are straightened.

When it is time to set the load down, it is very important that it is done correctly. Reverse the procedures for lifting to minimize the strain on the back. If the load is going on the floor, bend the knees and position the load in front of you. If the load is to go at table height, put it down and keep in contact with the load until it is secure on the table.

Carrying the Load

Once you are carrying the load, there are additional safety precautions to take.

  • Ensure you can see over the load. Even if you can see over the load, realize that you will have limited visibility.
  • Avoid jerky movements and twisting your body. Keep the natural curve in the spine; don't bend at the waist. To turn, move the feet around by pivoting on the toes, not by twisting at the stomach.
  • Watch out when passing by another object to ensure you do not pinch your fingers. This is especially true for doorways.
  • Always face the direction you are moving. This will keep you more stable.

More tips for lifting can be found on OSHA's resources for Materials Handling: Heavy Lifting.

Fire Extinguishers

All PODs have fire extinguishers to keep the area and those present safe. Different types of fire extinguishers are appropriate for different types of fire hazards.

Fire extinguishers are divided into four categories, based on the types of fires:

  • Class A extinguishers are for ordinary combustible material such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, and most plastics.
  • Class B extinguishers are for flammable or combustible material including oil, gas, and grease.
  • Class C extinguishers are for electrical fires and the extinguishing agent is non-conductive.
  • Class D extinguishers are for chemical fires including combustible metals such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
Fire Classes

Fire extinguishers, using different extinguishing elements, are capable of extinguishing combinations of these fire classes:

  • Water - only in Class A fires
  • Dry Chemical - Class A, B, and C fires
    • Sodium Bicarbonate
    • Monoammonium phosphate
  • Carbon Dioxide - Class B and C fires
Fire Extinguisher PASS

To use a fire extinguisher, remember PASS:

P - PULL THE PIN at the top of the extinguisher. The pin releases a locking mechanism and will allow you to discharge the extinguisher.

A - AIM at the base of the fire and not at the flames. You must extinguish the fuel to the fire.

S - SQUEEZE the lever. This will release the extinguishing agent in the extinguisher. If the handle is released, the discharge will stop.

S - SWEEP from side to side. Using a sweeping motion, move the fire extinguisher back and forth until the fire is completely out.

 

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to Fire Extinguisher PASS.
Fire Extinguisher PASS

Contains text "Fire Extinguisher PASS." P is for pull, A is for Aim, S is for Squeeze, and S is for Sweep. The "Pull the pin" icon shows a fire extinguisher handle with a pin. The "Aim" icon shows a person aiming a fire extinguisher at a fire. The "Squeeze the handle" icon shows arrows pointing to the handle. The "Sweep side to side" icon shows a fire extinguisher spraying a fire with arrows pointing in both directions.

When to Fight a Fire

Before deciding to fight a fire, be certain that:

  • The fire is small and not spreading.
  • You have the proper fire extinguisher.
  • The fire will not block your exit (keep the exit at your back).

NEVER FIGHT A FIRE IF:

  • The fire is spreading rapidly.
  • You don't know what is burning.
  • You don't have the proper fire extinguisher.
  • There is too much smoke or you are at risk of inhaling smoke.
Fire Extinguisher Tips

REMEMBER: Operate the extinguisher from a safe distance.

A typical fire extinguisher lasts for about 10 seconds. Once the fire is out, don't walk away. Watch the area for a few minutes in case it re-ignites.

Preventing Weather Injuries

Injuries caused by weather are another consideration when it comes to POD safety. Often, weather injuries can be avoided by taking precautions and recognizing signs of injury due to weather conditions.

Hot Weather Hazards

Working in hot weather can be dangerous. The hazards of working in hot weather include:

  • Sun burn
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat cramps
  • Heat stroke
  • Heat rash
  • Dehydration
Preventing Hot Weather Injury

To prevent a hot weather injury:

  • Drink small amounts of water frequently
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks
  • Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable clothing
  • Take frequent short breaks in cool shade
  • Keep skin covered
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim
  • Wear UV-absorbent sunglasses
Hot Weather Injury Signs
Recognize the signs of a hot weather injury:
  • Sunburn
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Heat Stroke
    • Confusion
    • Irrational behavior
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Convulsions
    • Lack of sweating
    • Abnormally high body temperature
  • Heat Cramps
    • Painful muscle spasms
  • Heat Exhaustion
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Weakness
    • Thirst
    • Giddiness
  • Heat Rash
    • Red cluster of pimples or small blisters
  • Dehydration
  • Irrational behavior

 

If you see the signs of a hot weather injury, seek medical attention immediately.
Cold Weather Hazards

Working in cold weather can be dangerous too. Cold weather hazards include:

  • Hypothermia
  • Frostbite
  • Aggravation of medical conditions like arthritis
  • Increased risk of musculoskeletal injuries
Preventing Cold Weather Injury

To prevent a cold weather injury:

  • Wear multiple layers of light, loose-fitting clothes
  • Limit skin exposure by wearing gloves, hat, and scarf (as much as 40% of your body heat can be lost from an uncovered head)
  • Keep hydrated but avoid caffeinated and alcoholic drinks
  • Avoid sweating (sweating hinders the insulating value of clothing)
  • Do not overexert and overheat yourself
Cold Weather Injury Signs

Recognize the signs of a cold weather injury:

  • Excessive shivering
  • Blue lips and fingers
  • Slurred speech
  • Poor coordination
  • Impaired thinking
  • Pain or numbness in extremities

If you see the signs of a cold weather injury, seek medical attention immediately.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is always a consideration at a POD. Some of the types of PPE used on a POD site include:

  • Head Protection
    • Hard Hats
  • Hand Protection
    • Leather Work Gloves
  • High Visibility Vests
    • Reflective traffic vests for all personnel
    • Must be worn when on site!
  • Illumination
    • Flashlights
    • Glow sticks
Hazard Communication

As you know, communication at the POD site is important for safety, but take a minute to consider hazard communication.

Everyone has the right and responsibility to be aware of all hazards and proper work procedures for hazardous material used in their work area.

Some hazardous material that could be on the POD site includes fuel for generators and vehicles, batteries, glow sticks, and MRE heaters.

Information on the hazards present on a POD site is found on hazardous material labels and material safety data sheets.

NFPA 704 Labeling System

NFPA 704 is a standard that provides a readily recognized, easily understood system for identifying specific hazards and their severity using spatial, visual, and numerical methods to describe in simple terms the relative hazards of a material. It addresses the health, flammability, instability, and related hazards that may be presented as short-term, acute exposures that are most likely to occur as a result of fire, spill, or similar emergency.

The system is characterized by the "diamond shape" or "square on point." Hazard severity is indicated by a numerical rating from zero (0) indicating a minimal hazard, to four (4) indicating a severe hazard. In addition to spatial orientation, the hazards are also color coded: blue for health hazards, red for flammability, and yellow for instability.

The severity rating for each hazard can be found on a Comparison of NFPA 705 and HazCom 2012 Labels.

Special Hazard Symbols, Abbreviations, and Words

Other symbols, abbreviations, and words that some organizations use in the white Special Hazards section are shown below. These uses are not compliant with NFPA 704, but we present them here in case you see them on a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or container label:

 

 Select this link for a full image description.

For Alt-Text refer to IS-26: Special Hazard Symbols, Abbreviations, and Words.
Special Hazard Symbols, Abbreviations, and Words

ACID: This indicates that the material is an acid, a corrosive material that has a pH lower than 7.0. ALK: This denotes an alkaline material, also called a base. These caustic materials have a pH greater than 7.0. COR: This denotes a material that is corrosive (it could be either an acid or a base). Corrosive icon showing liquid dropping on hand; This is another symbol used for corrosive. Poison icon showing scull and crossbones; The skull and crossbones is used to denote a poison or highly toxic material. See also: CHIP Danger symbols. Radioactivity icon showing three bladed fan; The international symbol for radioactivity is used to denote radioactive hazards; radioactive materials are extremely hazardous when inhaled. Explosive material icon showing explosion with particles flying out; Indicates an explosive material. This symbol is somewhat redundant because explosives are easily recognized by their Instability Rating.

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)

A MSDS is prepared by chemical manufacturers or importers to describe characteristics of the product and to provide information concerning potential hazards. They must always be readily available for employee review in the workplace. Additionally, all employees must receive training on the MSDS for each hazardous material on site that is used in a commercial manner.

The MSDS information answers these questions:

  • What is the material and what do I need to know?
  • What hazards are associated with the material?
  • What should I do if a hazardous situation occurs with that material?
  • How can I prevent hazardous situations from occurring?
  • What protective equipment should be used with the material?

You can find more information about each of these sections by reading an OSHA Brief on Hazard Communication Standard: Safety Data Sheets.

Workplace Violence

Even in the most respectful and low stress environments, incidents of workplace violence can and do still occur. In a POD environment, during the aftermath of a major disaster, the stressors on victims and families can be even greater. It is therefore important to understand the stages of workplace violence, indicators of risk, and what to do and not do in the event of workplace violence.

Five Stages of Workplace Violence

Workplace violence includes verbal threats and assaults in addition to physical assaults. Most workplace violence follows five stages:

  • Confusion - Behavior characterized by bewilderment or distraction. Unsure or uncertain of the next course of action.
  • Frustration - Behavior characterized by reaction or resistance to information. Impatience. Feeling a sense of defeat in the attempt of accomplishment. May try to bait you.
  • Blame - Placing responsibility for problems on everyone else. Accusing or holding you responsible. Finding fault or error with the action of others. They may place blame directly on you. Crossing over to potentially hazardous behavior.
  • Anger - Characterized by a visible change in body posture and disposition. Actions include pounding fists, pointing fingers, shouting or screaming. This signals very risky behavior.
  • Hostility - Physical actions or threats which appear imminent. Acts of physical harm or property damage. Out-of-control behavior signals they have crossed over the line.

Source: https://www.oshatrain.org/courses/mods/720signs.html

Workplace Violence Behavior Indicators
As a POD worker, you should be aware of behavior that could lead to a workplace violence incident. These indicators include:
  • Sudden and persistent complaining about being treated unfairly
  • Blaming of others for personal problems
  • Sudden change in behavior, deterioration in job performance
  • Statement that they would like something bad to happen to supervisor or another co-worker
  • Paranoid behavior
  • Sudden increased absenteeism
  • Sexually harassing, or obsessing about a co-worker: sending unwanted gifts, notes, unwanted calling, stalking
  • Increased demand of supervisor's time
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Talking to oneself
  • Instability in family relationships
  • Financial problems combined with not receiving a raise or promotion
  • Poor relationships with co-workers or management
  • History of violent behavior
  • Previous threats, direct or indirect
  • Presenting and talking about reading material that is violent in nature
  • Carrying a concealed weapon, or flashing one around
  • Quiet seething, sullenness
  • Refusal to accept criticism about job performance
  • Sudden mood swings, depression
  • Sudden refusal to comply with rules or refusal to perform duties
  • Inability to control feelings, outbursts of rage, swearing, slamming doors, etc.

Source: http://www.dli.mn.gov/business/workplace-safety-and-health/mnosha-wsc-workplace-violence-preventionn

Dealing with a Frustrated Person (1 of 2)

When dealing with a frustrated person:

DO:

  • Project calmness, move and speak slowly, quietly and confidently.
  • Be an empathetic listener. Encourage the person to talk and listen patiently.
  • Focus your attention on the person to let them know you are interested in what they have to say.
  • Maintain a relaxed yet attentive posture and position yourself at a right angle rather than directly in front of the other person. Acknowledge the person's feelings. Indicate that you can see they are upset.
  • Use delaying tactics which will give the person time to calm down. For example, offer a drink of water (in a disposable cup).
  • Be reassuring and point out choices. Break big problems into smaller, more manageable problems.
  • Accept criticism in a positive way. When a complaint might be true, use "it was my fault." If the criticism seems unwarranted, ask clarifying questions.
  • Ask for their recommendations. Repeat back to them what you feel they are requesting of you.
  • Arrange yourself so that the person cannot block your access to an exit.

Source: www.dli.mn.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/vguideapg.pdf

Dealing with a Frustrated Person (2 of 2)

When dealing with a frustrated person:

DO NOT

  • Reject all of a client's demands from the start.
  • Use styles of communication that generate hostility such as apathy, brush off, coldness, condescension, going strictly by the rules, or giving the run-around.
  • Pose in challenging stances such as standing directly opposite someone, hands on hips, or crossing your arms. Avoid any physical contact, finger pointing or long periods of fixed eye contact.
  • Make sudden movements which can be seen as threatening. Note the tone, volume, and rate of your speech.
  • Challenge, threaten, or dare the individual. Never belittle the person or make them feel foolish.
  • Criticize or act impatiently toward the agitated individual.
  • Attempt to bargain with a threatening individual.
  • Try to make the situation seem less serious that it is.
  • Make false statements or promises you cannot keep.
  • Try to impart a lot of technical or complicated information when emotions are high.
  • Take sides or agree with distortions.
  • Invade the individual's personal space. Make sure there is a space of three feet to six feet between you and the person.

Source: www.dli.mn.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/vguideapg.pdf

Lesson 7 Summary

In this lesson you learned how to:

  • Discuss the POD Manager's role in safety
  • Identify safety equipment, techniques, and procedures
  • Identify workplace violence risks
Lesson 8 Objectives

By the end of this lesson you will be able to:

  • Describe the POD demobilization process
Close the POD Site

The need for a POD is based on a lack of infrastructure (roadways, power, water) to support normal distribution of food, water, or other supplies. Once the local infrastructure starts coming back, it's time to close the POD. For example, if the POD is in the parking lot of a grocery store, once the electricity and roadways are back to working order and the store begins receiving stock, you don't want to interfere with their operation. The community can begin to support itself again.

The Local Emergency Management Agency will let the POD Manager know when it is time to close the POD. The Local Emergency Management Agency has the overall picture of the community and can best judge when recovery has reached a point that the community can sustain itself. The Local Emergency Management Agency can close all PODs or only those at specific sites.

It is important to remember that even if PODs are closing in nearby locations, others may need to remain open a bit longer due to infrastructure restoration being more difficult in some areas than in others.

Turn in Excess Supplies

Once you have received a POD closure notice from the Local Emergency Management Agency, you will need to block the vehicle or pedestrian lane to further traffic and clear the loading line of any remaining supplies. Ask the Local Emergency Management Agency for instructions on where to send any remaining customers. Remember to be polite and helpful to people - some of them may still need help.

Consolidate supplies by type (water with water, food with food, etc.) onto pallets in the supply line for loading back onto the truck. Inventory anything remaining prior to loading on the truck. It may be helpful to request a strapping unit or plastic wrap from the Local Emergency Management Agency to help secure loose supplies to their pallets before loading them.

Use a blank POD Supply Tracking Form to record remaining inventory balances and provide it to the truck driver as a Bill of Lading. Be sure to keep a copy of the form for your records. Load the supplies on the truck and begin cleaning the supply line.

Return Equipment

Once all supplies are loaded and off site, consolidate equipment behind the supply line and use the equipment inventory form to confirm everything is present.

If equipment is missing, check with the workers to see who had it last and where it was located. You will need to generate a written statement on any missing equipment. Damage can occur to equipment during normal use. Don't worry about these situations - it is expected and will be handled by the Local Emergency Management Agency. When you contact the Local Emergency Management Agency for pick up, be sure to report any damaged or missing equipment so that they can take any necessary further action.

Once everything is accounted for, contact the Local Emergency Management Agency to schedule a pickup of the equipment for return to the owners. If you negotiated for use of a piece of equipment, you may return it to the proper owners yourself.

Clean and Replenish the POD Kit (1 of 2)

Once the equipment and supplies are cleared, finish cleaning the site and collect the elements of the POD kit for repacking. Use the kit inventory sheet to ensure all elements are returned, inspect them for damage and clean them prior to repacking. Report any damaged or missing items to the Local Emergency Management Agency for replacement.

It is important to restore the kit as close to its original condition as possible to ensure it is ready for the next time it is needed. Repack the kit to its original configuration.

Clean and Replenish the POD Kit (2 of 2)

In some cases, the kit may have been issued by the Local Emergency Management Agency. In others, it may have been stored on site in preparation for use. Regardless, return it to the location from which it was issued.

At this point, the site should be completely cleaned up. Remember, some sites will be located on commercial properties. We need to maintain good will with the owners so that we can use their sites again should the need arise.

Submit Paperwork

Final reports are important for two reasons. Final reports:

  • Provide you and the staff with a comprehensive look at what was accomplished. Your efforts may have helped many people weather the disaster and, in some cases, actually saved lives!
  • Provide the Local Emergency Management Agency with documentation they can use to recoup some of their costs related to the disaster.

Take a moment to make some notes on what you saw during POD operation. What went right? What needs improvement? Refer to your Supply Tracking Forms and daily reports to generate a final count of the amount of each supply distributed (how much water, food, and other supplies were issued) and how many people or vehicles you served.

After Action Review

Once you have the totals calculated, gather the staff for an After-Action Review. Report the activity totals to them and congratulate them on their work. Highlight what went right and recognize those who went the extra mile, then discuss anything that you noted for improvement. Ask for their input on both good and bad aspects of the operation. Add their input to your notes. Be sure to send them home knowing that they provided a significant service at a time when they were really needed.

Provide the activity totals and after-action notes along with personnel, equipment, and resource files to the Local Emergency Management Agency. Keep a copy of the files for your organization as well, so that your activities are documented internally and you have something to refer to should the Local Emergency Management Agency contact you later for information.

The POD will then be officially closed.

Points of Distribution Video - Part Three

In this video clip, we'll review closing the POD site.

Video Transcript

Points of Distribution Video - Part Three Transcript

When recovery has reached a point where the local community can sustain itself, the POD will close. Make sure you give an advance notification of closing! Let LEMA, the property owner, and the public know 24-36 hours before you shut down operations.

Have a plan in place of where to send anyone who shows up after closing. Some people may still need help.

Make sure the site is completely clean when you leave. This maintains good will with the owners so you can use their site again should the need arise.

An overview of the POD mission has been provided. It’s now up to you, as the local emergency manager, to plan, organize, and exercise as a team. Start today. Share your knowledge of the importance of the POD mission with your government and private sector partners. Your community is counting on you to be able to get life-saving resources to them. Thank you for taking the time to review this video brought to you by the Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Management Institute and the United States Army Corps of Engineers Readiness Support Center.

Lesson 8 Summary

In this lesson you learned how to:

  • Describe the POD demobilization process
Course Overview and Objectives

This lesson will review the course objectives. Participants will take a Post-Course Assessment at its conclusion.

This course provided you with foundational knowledge on:

  • The basic concept of a POD
  • How to establish a POD
  • The basic principles of POD operations
  • Demobilization
Lesson 1: Introduction - Objectives

Lesson 1: Introduction defined PODs as centralized locations where the public picks up life sustaining commodities following a disaster or emergency. PODs accommodate vehicle traffic, pedestrian traffic, and mass transit traffic. The lesson also covered distribution systems. Distribution systems for commodities include not only PODs, but also mobile delivery and direct delivery.

You should now be able to:

  • Describe Points of Distribution
  • Delineate the common forms of commodity distribution
Lesson 2: Staffing - Objectives

Lesson 2: Staffing outlined how the Local Emergency Management Agency is the primary authority for the activation, operation, and demobilization of the PODs. The Local Emergency Management Agency determines both the location and type of POD to establish. Remember, the POD Manager has overall responsibility for the safe operation of the POD, including all staff and resources on site. The POD Manager reports to the Local Emergency Management Agency for guidance and information.

You should now be able to:

  • Describe the organizational structure of a Point of Distribution
  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of the Local Emergency Management Agency and POD staff
Lesson 3: POD Set Up - Objectives

Lesson 3: POD Set Up reviewed the considerations to keep in mind when developing the POD layout and described the supply, loading, and vehicle lines. Type I, II, and III PODs were all defined for you. This lesson covered the activation of a POD and explained that the Local Emergency Management Agency determines if there is a need for a POD. A POD Activation Form, which helps assist in notifying people about a POD activation, was provided. Lesson 3 also described the POD kit and additional items needed at the site to support the staff and allow for safe working conditions.

You should now be able to:

  • Discuss how to develop a site layout
  • Discuss how to activate a POD
  • Discuss how to support a POD site and staff
Lesson 4: Equipment - Objectives

Lesson 4: Equipment described equipment used at a POD site, including the parts of a pallet, pallet jack, forklift, and light tower. The lesson discussed operating the forklift, setting up the light tower, and safety considerations to keep in mind when operating this equipment.

You should now be able to:

  • Describe the equipment often used at a POD site
Lesson 5: Operations - Objectives

Lesson 5: Operations discussed the hours of operation of a POD and explained that the Local Emergency Management Agency coordinates resupply during the closed POD hours. The lesson described the vehicle line and the considerations from vehicle entry to the "clear!" signal, the importance of set distribution amounts, consumption rates, the ordering of supplies, off-loading of trucks, and resupplying loading points. Lesson 5 also looked at the maintenance of equipment. Remember, on-site equipment must be checked daily.

You should now be able to:

  • Describe the general conditions and vehicle line operations
  • Explain the ordering and resupply process
  • Identify equipment maintenance procedures
Lesson 6: Resource Accountability - Objectives

Lesson 6: Resource Accountability addressed the process of keeping track of equipment, supplies received and distributed, accounting for staffing levels and their hours at the POD site. Printable forms such as the Equipment Inventory Form, Supply Inventory Form, Daily Report Form, as well as a linked sample Staff Reporting Form were all provided to assist in the tracking of resources. This lesson also referenced considerations to be taken when dealing with volunteers, the media, and public relations.

You should now be able to:

  • Identify the equipment on the site
  • List the supplies received and distributed
  • Account for current staffing levels
  • Describe coordination of media and community relations
Lesson 7: Safety - Objectives

Lesson 7: Safety addressed POD safety. Safety practices were identified, and the role of the POD Manager as the primary safety officer was described. A printable Daily Site Hazard Assessment Form was provided, and links were given for an Accident Investigation Report, a Supervisor's Report of an Accident, and a Witness Statement. Remember, be sure to inform the Local Emergency Management Agency of any accidents immediately.

Lesson 7 also provided detailed information for proper lifting of heavy items, using a fire extinguisher, preventing weather injuries, and the necessity of using proper PPE. In addition to these safety considerations, hazard communication and recognizing workplace violence behaviors were addressed.

You should now be able to:

  • Discuss the POD Manager's role in safety
  • Identify safety equipment, techniques, and procedures
  • Identify workplace violence risks
Lesson 8: Demobilization - Objectives

Lesson 8: Demobilization talked about the closing of a POD site. The Local Emergency Management Agency will let the POD manager know when it is time to close the POD. This lesson described the process for turning in excess supplies, returning equipment, cleaning and replenishing the POD kit, and conducting the After-Action Review.

You should now be able to:

  • Describe the POD demobilization process
Course Summary

This course is complete.

This course provided you with foundational knowledge on:

  • The basic concept of a POD
  • How to establish a POD
  • The basic principles of POD operations
  • Demobilization