What on Earth is a C-POD?

On October 3rd, the San Francisco Department of Emergency Management conducted our annual disaster exercise with San Francisco Fleet Week. This year the focus was on C-PODs, otherwise known as Community Points of Distribution.C-PODS are temporary locations where the public can go to get basic necessities, such as food and water, when everyday resources are not available due to a major emergency or disaster.

The goal of a C-POD is to prevent human tragedy after a disaster. Last Monday, we practiced setting up an entire C-POD site with over 100 staff and disaster survivor volunteers. The scenario was a magnitude 7.0 earthquake, and the aftermath left residents incapable of supplying food and water for themselves. A C-POD is a last measure resort, and one that we hope to never utilize. However, if we do, we’ve received some much needed practice. Enjoy our photo blog below:


C-PODs ensure people have the basic necessities for daily nutrition and hydration, which help people to continue staying in their homes rather than having to stay at shelter sites.


C-POD Manager Bijan Karimi explains the logistical setup and goal of C-POD sites with the press.


Our partners the United States military, the San Francisco Human Services Agency and CalFire brief our staff and volunteers on the main objective behind today’s C-POD exercise: distribution and efficiency.


Military partners look on and give direction to fellow National Guard soldiers participating in the exercise.


When C-POD sites become necessary we may lean on our military partners such as the National Guard, the US Navy or the US Coast Guard to bring emergency supplies via sea to the shores of San Francisco. They would essentially act as an extension of local emergency management personnel and expand our capacity to assist our community.


Disaster service volunteers work with our military partners to offload supplies and organize them into different PODS.


After supplies are offloaded and organized, they are put directly into the trunks of vehicles; maximizing time and efficiency to allow the service of up to 10,000 vehicles per day.

Our biggest lesson learned from our annual exercise was that we could effectively and efficiently work with our partners to setup a Community Point of Distribution following a catastrophic emergency.

Check out the sights and sounds of a C-POD:

Than you to all of our staff, volunteers and participating agencies for your support and participation in this year’s exercise.

About sfdemdaniella

A passionate emergency management communications specialist looking to inspire, educate, and connect with San Francisco Bay Area community members.

Posted on October 24, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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