South Georgia Disaster Response, churches deploy N95 masks


South Georgia’s Disaster Response ministry is committed to providing the loving presence of Christ during all times of disaster, and this current pandemic is no exception.

Last week, the Conference’s Disaster Response team deployed N95 masks from its stockpile of UMCOR cleaning buckets and delivered them to local emergency managers, local first responders, and local healthcare (hospitals and long-term care) facilities. Each UMCOR Cleaning Bucket (flood bucket) had five N95 particulate respirator dust masks inside.

The masks are included in cleaning buckets to be used by Early Response Teams and homeowners to provide protection from dust, mold, and toxins as they muck out homes after a hurricane or flood or cleaning up after a tornado. Now, however, they’re being used to help protect healthcare workers and other vulnerable people from the coronavirus.

“The district coordinators met virtually and all agreed that we should donate the stored masks,” said Luis Morales, South Georgia’s Disaster Response Coordinator. “Each district disaster response coordinator gave out anywhere from 80 to 200 masks and gloves.”

Knowing local first responders and health care workers were in desperate need of masks, Susan Hughes, the South Central District’s Disaster Coordinator, contacted a doctor and arranged for transport and delivery of several boxes from her church’s disaster relief trailer.

“He was ecstatic to get them! He immediately delivered them to our hospital,” Hughes said. “We are so thrilled to be able to give such an important piece of PPE (personal protective equipment) to those on the ‘front lines.’”

Does your congregation have UMCOR cleaning buckets on hand? If so, please consider donating the N95 masks. Contact your district disaster response coordinator for more information on donating the masks.