Preparing San Diego for Disaster with PODS Storage
Here is how the city of San Diego is using PODS portable storage containers to support its highly rated pre-disaster plan.
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With a citywide population of more than 1.3 million and more than 3 million countywide, San Diego is the second largest city in California and the eighth largest in the U.S. The city is the economic center of the region; its strongest sectors include military- and defense-related activities, tourism, international trade, and manufacturing. The city is also a center for biotechnology research, thanks to the presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the affiliated UCSD Medical Center.
THE CHALLENGE: LACK OF SCALABILITY
San Diego is one of 72 cities funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to participate in the Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) to dispense the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) — the national repository of various medicines and other critical medical supplies. Under this legislation, antibiotics must be dispensed to an identified population within 48 hours. To comply with these requirements, San Diego needed to dramatically increase their storage and distribution capabilities.
THE PODS SOLUTION: COMBINED STORAGE AND TRANSPORTATION
A GSA-certified vendor with proven disaster response experience, PODS was the obvious choice for the job. A single dedicated point of contact coordinated at the state and local levels with the SNS and CRI to equip six containers with communications equipment, tables, chairs, and medical supplies. PODS’ unique combination of storage and transportation services enables the city to mobilize supplies four times faster than a traditional warehouse, and without having to pay additional costs for the leasing of trucks. The use of local operators and drivers who know the region’s roads and regulations helps to keep surprises at bay.
THE RESULTS: A TOP-RATED DISASTER RESPONSE PROGRAM
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Within the first year of their PODS program, San Diego was assessed and rated among the best in the nation by the CDC. San Diego saved thousands of dollars on trucks and shaved critical hours off response times. The following year, San Diego increased from six to 14 containers, with plans to acquire up to 30 containers. While many other cities continue to score low on their logistical capability, San Diego is now able to dispense necessary supplies throughout a metropolitan statistical area the size of Delaware with the help of PODS. Public health officials nationwide look to adopt similar programs.