Points of Distribution (POD)

Points of Distribution (POD)

Points of Distribution (POD) are temporary locations which are usually established to help before the basic services are restored fully in a given area which has been adversely affected by a disaster or any other emergency event. The POD enables the affected people to avail themselves and collect various life supportive commodities and basic essential supplies (Loree et al., 2018). They are established following an event when the resources and commercial infrastructure are no longer available to offer the needed support to the population affected. They are later closed when the commercial infrastructure is re-built, and the resources required are availed to support the affected people. The number of PODs required is dependant on the remaining population, remaining infrastructure and population jurisdiction capacity of distribution.

Points of Distribution can be extremely beneficial since it provides a well laid out plan for the distribution of essential amenities in case of an emergency occurrence. Some of the items that a proper POD system should accommodate include vehicle, mass transit traffic, and pedestrian. A well-planned POD will quickly identify the potential locations before setting it up, and the selected site will be by current population density in those areas (Loree et al., 2018). A review of the traffic patterns will help in enabling the affected people to use the shortest and most convenient route to reach the supplies, and it should not be a route which will cause a traffic jam.

With a proper and well-trained team, the supplies will reach the population within the shortest time possible. The POD manager coordinates the team throughout the entire process. With a proper set up of POD system, which includes identification of the ideal location, a well laid out design of the POD layout, adopting appropriate traffic patterns and working with a well-coordinated skilled team will help in achieving best results during disaster management.




Loree, N., & Aros-Vera, F. (2018). Points of distribution location and inventory management               model for Post-Disaster Humanitarian Logistics. Transportation Research Part E:                     Logistics and Transportation Review, 116, 1-24.

Rafferty-Semon, P., Jarzembak, J., & Shanholtzer, J. (2017). Simulating complex community      disaster preparedness: Collaboration for point of distribution. OJIN: The Online Journal            of Issues in Nursing, 22(1).


Response to the first answer.

Hi, it has been great reading through your answer. As you have noted, the application of the type III point of distribution in managing a metropolitan city may be disastrous. It is so because the type III point of distribution require nineteen staff members during day time and four at night and has only three loading points. I agree with you that the application of type III point of distribution in a metropolitan in the distribution of critical emergency supplies like water and food during disaster management may increase disaster vulnerability since metropolitan is densely populated. It would, therefore, result in distribution centers which would be too small to accommodate the massive need for emergency supplies.

As you have noted, type I point of distribution would be more useful for a metropolitan set up due to its larger capacity of the people it serves per day compared to type III. I agree with you that type I point of distribution would distribute water and food resources faster to manage the high demand for the emergency supplies.


Response to the second answer.

Hi, I enjoyed reading your answer. It is true that a Point of Distribution (POD) is where the public stops to pick up emergency supplies following a disaster. It is critical in disasters since they give the public access to emergency supplies after a disaster strikes. It is agreeable that the Local Emergency Management Agency(LEMA) is the primary authority for the activation, operation, and demobilization of the points of distribution.

I agree with you that mobile delivery is a standard distribution method in rural areas where there is poor road infrastructure. The PODs are centralized locations where supplies are delivered, and the public travels to the site to pick up the commodities. As you have noted, the three categories of PODs are; Supply line is where supply trucks, have room to unload,  Loading line is where supplies are put waiting on stacked pallets to be distributed to the public, and Vehicle line is where the public drives through to get supplies.