The periodic resupply drop (P.R.D.) is the name given to a DHARMA Initiative procedure in which new provisions and other supplies are parachuted onto the Island from the DHARMA Logistics Warehouse in Guam. The drops appear to take place at regular intervals of about six to eight months and the drop orders are automated messages from The Lamp Post.
In Season 2, during a lockdown incident at the Swan, a large pallet of DHARMA food and supplies was found quite close to the entrance of the station by Kate and Jack. None of the survivors recalled hearing a plane fly over the Island, although the pallet and its cargo were attached to a parachute and had a flashing beacon attached. Charlie speculated that the station may have been deliberately locked down to keep the occupants from seeing who made the drop. ("Lockdown") ("Dave")
The supply drop contained a large amount of DHARMA Initiative food including boxes of macaroni & cheese, peanut butter, risotto, ranch dressing, canned goods, and other assorted food items. All of the items in the drop bore the code DI 9FFTR731 and were branded with the Swan logo. The supply drop was scavenged by a large group of castaways including Sawyer, Charlie, Jin, Sun, and Kate. Sawyer later commented that he had "enough stuff now to open a chain of mini-marts". Charlie also found a vaccine kit on the pallet, which he gave to Claire a few days later. ("Lockdown") ("Dave") ("Three Minutes")
Much of the food was transferred to the beach camp and kept in an outdoor kitchen organized by Rose. ("S.O.S.") Paulo once complained that the kitchen was out of DHARMA Oat Bars. ("Tricia Tanaka Is Dead") Charlie gave the pallet itself to Eko to assist in the construction of his church. ("Dave")
The New Man in Charge
Several years later, Ben visited the DHARMA Logistics Warehouse in Guam where the drops were being launched from. He informed Hector and Glen that the Initiative disbanded twenty years previously, answered a few of their questions about why they were sending the pallets, and relieved them of their duties. (The New Man in Charge)
Other supply drops
- In the Sri Lanka video, a clip of a helicopter is seen. The helicopter shown appears to be a Sikorsky H-5 Dragonfly, a common American helicopter dating back to the 1940s and early 1950s. While the clip is shown, Alvar Hanso states, "...all of the support you will need, including regular medicine and food drops will be made in perpetuity." (The Lost Experience)
- While searching the basement of the Flame, Sayid found a DHARMA binder labeled "Food Drop Protocol". Before the station's destruction, it also appeared the Flame computer was capable of initiating drops by entering the code "24". ("Enter 77")
- Writing in his diary, Ben noted that the Others were short on provisions and the long-awaited resupply of camp gear had not yet been made. This seems to suggest that multiple drops take place on the Island. ("Through the Looking Glass, Part 1")
- A village on the Isle of Tonga was the recipient of a 1-ton air-dropped pallet of DHARMA Initiative-branded food (including chicken soup, chili, "ranch composite" salad dressing, peanut butter, oatmeal, vanilla cookies, beer, and rum) on some unspecified date prior to 1982. This pallet was believed to have been a mistaken PRD intended for the Island. (Mysteries of the Universe#Parts 5 & 6)
- A notation on the blast door map reads: "P.R.D. every 6–8 months. Fatalities: 5". ("Lockdown")
- The back of the official jigsaw puzzles revealed that the notation "PRD" on the blast door map stands for "Periodic Resupply Drop".
- A large area of ground in proximity to the Pearl was cleared and salted so as to create a giant circle that now resembles a question mark after the Beechcraft fell off the cliff next to it. The salt kept the circle from becoming overgrown by the jungle and it was of sufficient size to make it clearly visible from above. ("?")
- Daniel Faraday conducted a payload experiment demonstrating a time delay of objects traveling to the Island. Later, Ray's body washed up on shore at the beach apparently at a time before his own death, which suggests the time discrepancy between the Island and the rest of the world is variable in nature. This may explain why no aircraft were observed at the time of the Swan's resupply drop. ("The Economist") ("The Shape of Things to Come") ("Cabin Fever")
- Executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse revealed on the the March 11, 2010 podcast that they intended to reveal the origin of the supply drop.
- For fan theories about these unanswered questions, see: Periodic resupply drop/Theories
- Were additional drops being made for other DHARMA stations and facilities?