September 15, 2008
POD confusion

Apparently, there's been some confusion over the point-of-distribution (POD) sites and who is supposed to be in charge of them.

A federal official Monday described the Houston-area delay of distribution of food, ice and water in the wake of Hurricane Ike as a "hiccup" caused by weather and an unexpected state decision to have the Federal Emergency Management Agency take over distribution centers in the city.

"While we're talking hours of delay, that was the hiccup that caused it," FEMA spokesman Marty Bahamonde said of the fact that centers to disperse critical supplies did not open until late Sunday.

Texas Homeland Defense Director Steve McCraw said the state gave operations of the Houston food distribution centers to FEMA because the city was an area of "lesser impact" from the storm and because the federal agency was looking for a way to help. McCraw said the state had the personnel to run the centers if it had wanted.

"They asked if there was a way to help, and we said here's a way," McCraw said. "We're team players. We were glad to let it go."

McCraw said within 72 hours of the storm the state will be running 48 distribution centers in areas with far more destruction than Houston, such as Orange County. McCraw also noted the state is running 284 shelters with 37,000 evacuees.

"We're pushing food, water and ice to other locations," McCraw said. "We're not just doing MREs (meals ready to eat). We're doing canteen services."

Gov. Rick Perry, touring storm damage in Orange, downplayed the delays as anything other than a logistical struggle in the face of a major storm.

"We're working well with our federal counterparts," Perry said.

One gets a somewhat less sunny view of this from these stories, to which Vince and Houtopia pile on. I'm a bit out of the loop on this one, so let me ask: What have you seen or experienced regarding FEMA and the relief distribution efforts? Leave a comment and let me know.

In the extended entry, I've got a list of POD locations that have come to me in email from the Joe Jaworski campaign and City Controller Annise Parker. They cover Harris, Galveston, and Brazoria Counties.

Meanwhile, HISD is out of school till at least next week.

HISD schools likely will not re-open for a week to 10 days because of Hurricane Ike, said Superintendent Abe Saavedra today.

"The electricity will be the major problem," he said while inspecting damage at the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Dickson and Shepherd. "Without the electricity, we can't check the mechanical systems."


HISD administators have discussed re-opening schools that suffered little or no damage. But they are worried that some students and teachers may be living in areas without electricity and may have trouble maintaining schedules.

As of today, the plan calls for opening all district schools on the same day, he said.

HISD administrators will be discussing with the Texas Education Agency how many days that have been missed because of the hurricane will have to made up. Saavedra said he suspects that the TEA will require some days to be made up and will waive the requirement for others.

We have received word that the preschool Olivia and Audrey attend will reopen on Thursday the 18th, at least for Audrey's class. The building Olivia is in sustained more extensive damage and may not be ready by then. They've also got teachers dealing with damaged houses - some of them are staying at the school for the time being - so as with everything else, it will be a challenge over the next few weeks.

We don't know yet if our return flight will actually get us back yet or not. The Dallas-Houston leg of the trip is scheduled to fly as of right now, but we'll be checking back with the airlines to confirm that. Here's hoping.

Harris County:

Date: September 15, 2008 Contact: Mark Seegers Subject: POD Sites Phone: 713-881-3034 JIC#

Announced POD Locations

The following locations are Points of Distribution (POD's) supplying ice, water and meals (MRE's) for residents.


Old Kroger Location, FM 2920@HWY 249, Tomball .

Greenspoint Harvest Time Baptist Church, 17770 Imperial Valley .

Community of Faith, 1023 Pinemont .

Fountain of Praise, 13950 Hillcroft .

Texas Southern University, 3600 Rosewood at Scott .

Ripley House, 4410 Navigation .

Zion Lutheran, 3606 Beauchamp .

Jim Fonteno Courthouse Annex 14350 Wallisville, Channelview .

PAL Gym, 2910 E. Southmore, Pasadena .

New Life Fellowship Church, 2104 Underwood, La Porte .

San Jacinto Community Center, 604 Highland Woods, Highlands .

West Town Mall, 4100 Decker, Baytown .

Baytown Courthouse Annex, 701 West Baker, Baytown .

Windsor Village, 6000 Heatherbrook, .

Greater Jerusalem, 8901 Jensen . Raul C. Martinez Annex, 1001 S. Sgt. Macario Garcia .

Football Stadium, Center@San Augustine, Deer Park .

Second Baptist, 6400 Woodway .

Bay Area Community Center, 5002 NASA Road One, Seabrook

Galveston County:

POD (Point of Distribution) Sites:

- Hitchcock High School -6625 FM 2004, Hitchcock, Texas 77563
- U. S. Post Office on Palmer Highway (FM 1764)at 11th. Ave. N. Texas
City, Texas 77590 (across from high school)
- McAdams Jr. High, 4007 Video Street, Dickinson, Texas 77539 (Note:
reports are that the trucks had not arrived as of 5 pm on Sunday)
- Centennial Park -220 S. Friendswood Drive, Friendswood, Texas 77546
- Galveston Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway, Galveston, Texas 77551

Evacuation Huddle Sites - Buses to come from Gulf Greyhound Park - To
San Antonio:

- Bacliff Community Center, 4500 10th Street, Bacliff, Texas 77518
- Dickinson Senior Center, 2714 Highway 3, Dickinson, Texas 77539
- Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 10114 Highway 6, Hitchcock, Texas 77563
- La Marque High School, 300 Vauthier Road, La Marque, Texas 77568
- Ball High School, 4115 Avenue O, Galveston, Texas 77550

EMS Staging Locations - Two Units at Each Location:

- La Marque Fire Department, 1109 Bayou Road, La Marque, Texas 77568
- Dickinson Fire Department, 2716 Main Street, Dickinson, Texas 77539
- Santa Fe Fire/Rescue, 12506 Highway 6, Santa Fe, Texas 77510 409 925-7333
- Texas City Fire, 1721 25th Street North, Texas City, Texas 77590 409-643-5741

Brazoria County:

Point of Distribution (POD) will be established to serve Clute, Lake Jackson, and Richwood, Monday Morning at 9:00 AM, September 15. This POD will be located at the Kroger Center at the intersection of Dixie and Plantation Drives. Since the water supply for these cities is good, this POD will supply ICE, Water, and MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat). The POD will remain open as long as supplies last.

Other PODs are located in Angleton at the Recreation Center behind the Angleton Police Dept., in Freeport at the Freeport Police Dept., and in Brazoria at the Junior High School. These PODs will supply Ice, Water, and/or MREs.

Water, Ice, & Meals Ready to Eat - Are ready for the public at the Alvin ISD Transportation Center, 2780 SH 6 in Alvin until supplies last. Uncertain how late they are open, so you are advised to travel to the Alvin location during daylight hours.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 15, 2008 to Hurricane Katrina

What happened to placing services in Fort Bend County? I am in Sugar Land and have had no power since thw storm hit. How about putting a POD anywhere close to us so that we can get some help too? This is rediculous that we have ZERO help from city, state and federal agencies.

I can't spend the rare gas to drive to Houston on a chance that I may find a POD there with less than a 2 mile line and actual supplies I could get. Put one at least in Fort Bend County.

Posted by: Louis Sokol on September 16, 2008 6:27 AM

KUHF, local NPR, running continuous phone-in show, pointed out that no pods south of 610 had been set up as of yesterday despite the large affected population. Come on, not all that area was Democrat.

Posted by: Gary D on September 16, 2008 11:16 AM

RME's are needed in montomgery county
Porter/ New CAney area

Posted by: Stacy on September 19, 2008 12:30 AM
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