Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

A case for standardized communications for point of distribution operations

Travis L. Cline, MS, Kar Ee Ho, MS, Chris Hood, MBA, Austin Riegsecker, MS, J. Eric Dietz, PhD, PE


Objective: Propose standardized communication formats and procedures at the point of distribution (POD) sites to facilitate the effective management and alleviate friction points that may occur while responding to a widespread medical incident within the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Design: Through observation of POD operations and interviews with key personnel in Indiana and county emergency management agencies (EMA), identify current communication practices and propose a structured command and control (C2) framework that would streamline management requirements during a widespread activation.

Setting: The State of Indiana, various counties throughout Indiana.

Conclusions: Current C2 practices are adequate for small-scale events. However, a standardized approach to the C2 and reporting framework may provide more responsive situational awareness and incident management of larger-scale medical incidents within Indiana.


Command and Control, Point of Distribution, Communication, NIMS

Full Text:



Glass PR. Using Discrete-Event Simulation to Reduce the Incidence of Medical Errors from a Point of Distribution Site. 2017. Available at Accessed July 27, 2019.

Craig CR. Examining the Difference Between Asynchronous and Synchronous Training. Purdue e-Pubs. 2016. Available at Accessed July 15, 2019.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. National Incident Management System. 2017. Available at Accessed July 29, 2019.

Branum A, Dietz JE: An evaluation of local incident command system personnel in a pandemic influenza. J Emerg Manag. 2010; 8(5): 39. DOI: 10.5055/jem.2010.0031.

Soeurt C: Planning Chief and County Health EOC liaison responsibilities at POD Sites [Interview]. 2019.

Dietz K: State health responsibilities during a health incident [Interview]. 2019.

FEMA: Emergency Management Institute (EMI) Course | IS-26: Guide to Points of Distribution. 2008. Available at Accessed July 19, 2019.

Title 410 Indiana State Department of Health, Final Rule. Available at Accessed July 29, 2019.

Vanderpool T: INDOT roles and responsibilities in responding to a medical incident [Interview]. 2019.

Anderson S: EMA communication responsibilities [Interview]. 2019.

Tennessen R: County Health EMA communication and responsibilities during a health incident [Interview]. 2019.

Peppin B: Incident Commander responsibilities at POD Sites [Interview]. 2019.

Black A, Dietz JE, Stirratt AA, et al.: Do social media have a place in public health emergency response? J Emerg Manag. 2015; 13(3): 217. DOI: 10.5055/jem.2015.0235.

Purdue University: Emergency Warning Notification System: Purdue ALERT. Available at Accessed July 31, 2019.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US): Receiving, Distributing, and Dispensing Strategic National Stockpile Assets: A Guide for Preparedness. 11th ed., Atlanta, Georgia: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US).

WebEOC: Emergency preparedness: WebEOC. Available at Accessed July 20, 2019.

State of Indiana WebEOC. 2020. Available at Accessed November 11, 2020.

Web Emergency Operations Center (WebEOC) Interconnectivity. Federal Emergency Management Agency; 2018:10. Available at Accessed July 29, 2019.

CDC: Data Collection and Reporting | NNDSS. Available at Accessed July 26, 2019.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Journal of Emergency Management