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.