POD dispensing

Distribution of Medicine in an Emergency
Frequently Asked Questions

Public health agencies work together to maintain, review and modify plans for the distribution of medicine and medical supplies to the community after a public health emergency. The GOAL is to provide medicines to all affected individuals within 48 hours.

For more information contact:

Sean Beck
Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
419-673-6230 x 1816

What is a Point of Dispensing, or POD?

A POD is a location used to quickly give out medicine or vaccinations to the public after an emergency. POD locations do not however offer routine medical care.

What happens at a POD?

People who may have been exposed would go to the POD to receive medicine. They would be asked several questions about their health. These questions would either be asked in person or written on a form.

There are usually several medicines that can be given to protect people from getting these illnesses. A doctor, pharmacist, or nurse will be at each POD and can help determine the best medicine for each person.

What kind of biological attack might require distribution of medicine or vaccine?

An Anthrax attack would require the rapid distribution of medicine. A Smallpox attack would require the rapid distribution and administration of Smallpox vaccine.

Who will work in the PODs?

Local volunteers and public health staff will work together in each POD. Both medical and non-medical workers will be needed to perform a wide variety of tasks necessary at the POD. See our Medical Reserve Corps page for information on volunteering.

How will people know when and where to go to a POD?

The Health Department will provide information to local radio stations on when and where to go. As well as other methods of informing the community that PODs are open.

Who can get treated at a POD?

Any residents or visitors in Hardin County are able to visit a POD to receive medications.

In what kind of situation would PODs be set up?

It is rare that large numbers of people would need to take medicine or vaccinations to prevent an illness. However, community-wide exposure to an agent would require POD locations to be set up to give medicine to people to prevent them from getting sick. PODs have been used in the past for mass treatment of the community for an outbreak. 

Where will PODs be set up?

POD locations will be set up at various locations throughout the county as needed.

Do we have access to enough emergency medications to take care of everyone?

A large supply of medicine is available through the Strategic National Stockpile. These medications will be delivered by the state health department to the POD locations.

Have PODs ever been used before?

Only when there has been documented cases of illnesses that require treatment. In the past Smallpox, Polio, Flu, and Anthrax are among the list of agents that have needed mass treatment.

When will the PODs be open?

POD schedules will depend on how many people need to receive medicine or vaccine. If the entire city or county needs to receive medicine or vaccine, the POD locations will remain open 24 hours a day, until all goals are met.

What about people who do not speak English?

We understand that not everyone’s first language is English. There will be paperwork at each POD available in other languages. Each POD will have community members selected to work at that POD to help with translation services and other special needs.

What is a Closed POD?

Closed PODs are provided by private organizations. Closed PODs are not open to the public. Closed PODs allow health departments and local authorities, such as the fire and police departments to reach more people efficiently by providing medications to the agency and their families first.

What are the Benefits to Your Agency?

Closed PODs can decrease the number of people going to the Public POD for medicine during a public health emergency.
Ease of access to life saving medications.
Quick dispensing of medications to your agencies and their families.
Ensure continuity of operations for your agency.
Managed by your agency.
Broaden knowledge of emergency preparedness.
Establish and maintain an ongoing relationship with the Health Department to stay informed about resources and services.

What is Your Role in a Closed POD?

Provide expertise/advise in developing and maintaining a Closed POD plan for your agency.
Participate in trainings and exercises.
Maintain Closed POD supplies and equipment.
Dispense medications as necessary with the guidance of the Health Department.

Who Should Consider Becoming a Closed POD?

First Responders (Fire, EMS, Law Enforcement, etc.)
Local Government Offices
Healthcare Organizations
Long Term Care Facilities

Contact us to see if becoming a Closed POD is for your agency.

Kenton Hardin Health Department's Role in a Closed POD

Provide pre-event planning and technical assistance.
Provide training and education.
Provide medications during an emergency.
Assist with Closed POD activation, operation, and recovery activities.

Public Health Emergencies
  • Hours of Operation (Excluding Holidays)
    Monday - Thursday 8:30AM-4:30PM
    Friday 8:30AM-2:30PM
    Closed daily for lunch 12:00-12:30PM
  • Address:175 West Franklin Street, Kenton, OH 43326
  • Phone:419-673-6230
  • Fax:419-673-8761

After Hours:
24/7 Emergency Line