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Communities on the Frontline: Week of April 27

Release Date

Across the country, communities are using innovative approaches to support COVID-19 response efforts. Each week, FEMA is highlighting these extraordinary efforts so that other others can learn from and expand on them. This week focuses on the everyday workers that are making personal sacrifices to help ensure that everyone receives the products and personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to stay safe.

Braskem America Workers

In an effort to ramp up production of polypropylene, a raw material used to produce PPE, 43 employees voluntarily isolated at a Pennsylvania Braskem America plant for 28 days. The workers slept, ate, and worked 12-hour shifts at the factory, producing tens of millions of pounds of raw material crucial for the manufacture of face masks, surgical gowns, and disinfectant wipes. By living at the factory, employees could avoid exposure to COVID-19 through daily commutes.

Lysol Factory Workers

The Lysol factory in Somerset county, New Jersey, has dedicated all of their aerosol lines to producing Lysol disinfect spray. The factory is receiving more than 50 railcar deliveries per month to supply alcohol, a key disinfectant ingredient, for aerosol lines that are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The company has distributed wallet cards to factory employees to display their essential service status. Employees are staying voluntarily into the next shift in efforts to aid in the fight against COVID-19. Employee morale has shifted from viewing their work as simply a job, to feeling like front-line fighters against the virus.

City of Shoreline Community Emergency Response Team

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in the city of Shoreline, Washington, has made the showers at the local recreation centers available for those experiencing homelessness. The showers are available three days per week for four hours each day. The CERT members screen individuals coming in by taking their temperature as a preventative measure. The Shoreline CERT volunteers will begin assisting with food distribution at a King County Housing Facility in Shoreline in the near future.

These stories are part of the FEMA Best Practice initiative, which focuses on compiling the best practices and lessons learned from communities fighting COVID-19.  To see more stories like this, visit the Best Practices page.

Last updated March 17, 2021