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Statesville Points of Distribution Training

Preparing loading areas with supplies
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Preparing loading areas with supplies. Photo credit: 1st Lt Deborah Leighton, CAP, PAO, Sugar Valley Composite Squadron (click image to view full size)
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CAP as a Community Resource

9/5/2015––Civil Air Patrol (CAP) partners with local, county and federal emergency management agencies to serve and support communities and neighbors in time of need during disasters. What constitutes a disaster? When communities are without power, water and other infrastructure needs, the Civil Air Patrol works with agencies to establish Points of Distribution (PODs) to disburse essential items, like water, food, ice and tarps, to residents until their basic needs are restored. Across North Carolina, CAP volunteers train to serve in PODs to assist agencies in times of disaster.

Maj Tony Overman and Capt Patti Overman provided training for approximately 30 CAP Senior Members and Cadets in Statesville on 5 Sept 2015.   Lt. Col. Pete Bohler, Assistant Disaster Relief Officer for the NC Wing, offered clarification and additional information. For the morning session, participants reviewed material from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA IS-00026  POD training program, learning how the four types of PODs are set up and manned. The program was very organized, with POD kits supplied by the NC Wing. It was made very clear to all participants that it is essential to have a large base of trained POD team members to provide what is needed for communities during disasters that knock out local services.  To illustrate the importance of this training, Maj. Overman shared many stories of his experience at Pamlico after Hurricane Irene.  PODs can be a vital source of support and comfort to families who have lost everything.

During the afternoon, participants had the opportunity to be a part of a simulated POD mission, setting up a Point of Distribution in a parking lot, using the supplies from the provided POD kit, and actually seeing how it works to have victims and vehicles coming through to pick up needed supplies. One observation made firsthand was how valuable Civil Air Patrol Cadets can be in this process - an opportunity for them to really make a difference.

What did participants take away from this training?  It was made very clear to all participants that CAP volunteers, senior members and cadets, are a valuable resource for communities. We all need to make sure that our communities know what we can do as CAP squadrons and members, and that we can be counted on to be trained and ready to deploy in times of need.