Introduction to Points of Dispensing (POD)

Course Description:

This course will familiarize POD workers and public health personnel with the basic purpose, constitution and operations of a Point of Dispensing during a disaster. This course will cover topics such as selecting and designing a site, as well as administration and logistics issues such as supplies, staff roles and training, patient flows, operations and security. Risk communication regarding POD operations will also be discussed in this course. Finally, there will be a short discussion on the closing of a POD.

Target Audience

Academic Faculty/Staff, Federal Government Employees, State Government Employees, Local Government Employees, Non-Government Employees and Students

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the mission and importance of points of distribution (POD) for a community during time of disaster including their role within the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) program
  • Describe the organization, equipping and staffing of a POD including the roles and responsibilities of its leadership
  • Describe the operations of a POD in the context of the National Incident Management System during an emergency
  • List the considerations necessary during the process of site selection and site design for a POD and the roles of the responsible individuals
  • Describe the risk communications issues intrinsic in POD activation and name some effective principles critical for effective staff coordination and population mobilization
  • Describe the Infection Control issues which are significant during the period of POD activation and operation
  • Explain security and safety in the context of POD setup and operation during a time of disaster
  • Describe training and education aspects of POD creation, maintenance and effective activation
  • Describe the actions necessary during the recovery phase in shutting down a POD
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 5.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 5.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Introduction to Points of Dispensing (POD)
Course opens: 
Course expires: 


Joseph Contiguglia

Joseph Contiguglia, MD, MPH&TM, MBA

Available Credit

  • 5.00 Participation/CE
    Tulane Professional and Continuing Education (PaCE) awards 5.00 hour(s) of credit for completing Introduction to Points of Dispensing (POD)


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Required Hardware/software

System Settings 
This course is designed to work most effectively if your computer and internet connection meet certain minimal requirements. This course can be accessed using a Windows 10 PC or a Mac with High Sierra1, Mojave, or Catalina. Pop-up blockers should be disabled when viewing the course. Internet Explorer 11 (for Windows 10), or the current version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari (for Windows 10 and or Mac) is required. Many of our courses require Java and JavaScript enabled. 

Links to External Websites   
Links to websites outside this course will open in a new window or tab. Some browsers may minimize the course window. If this occurs, maximize the course window to return to the course. 

Adobe Acrobat Reader (for desktops and laptops)  
Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to access some documents in this course. If you need to download a free copy of Acrobat Reader, click here.  

Internet Connection Speed 
A minimum download speed of 1.5 Mbps is recommended for an optimal experience, which is commonly the speed associated with a basic DSL or a cellular/satellite connection. A faster connection, such as cable or fiber service, with further enhance your online experience. A Wi-Fi connection is generally acceptable, but it is dependent upon one of the two services mentioned above. You can check your internet connection speed at