Caldwell County hosted a CERT class for volunteers to learn about staffing a POD (Point of Distribution) that is a model used for distributing critical supplies to the public in the event of a serious disaster when normal channels of food and water distribution are interrupted. PODs were used last fall in the flooded areas of North Carolina as a result of Hurricane Matthew.
There were 6 Caldwell County CERT members in class joined by people from Winston-Salem to Asheville. The class was taught by Samantha Royster, NC CERT Program Manager from Raleigh.
Two POD kits were transported here for the class to see the equipment and gear provided by the state of North Carolina and to use in an exercise. Each kit includes personal protective gear such as hard hats, reflective vests, and gloves. In addition, the kits have traffic cones, whistles, flags, flashlights, and garbage cans. If a POD is deployed, semi-trailer trucks would transport the needed water, pre-packaged meals (MREs), and tarps that would be distributed to each family.
The POD system is designed to provide an organized, fast, safe distribution of critical aid in times of an emergency. Trained CERT volunteers would be a valuable resource in helping to staff PODS in Caldwell County if needed.