At 3M we seek to observe, understand and solve. What we believe is simple: We are people committed to helping other people. Every day we help tackle problems, big and small, in pursuit of our vision to improve every life.

When disaster strikes, 3M stands ready to spring into action

February 12, 2020

As natural disasters continue to increase in frequency and severity, 3M continually provides essential supplies and funds to assist partners and aid workers in their swift responses.

3Mgives Disaster Relief Program Stories

3M makes thousands of products that enhance people’s health and safety every single day. Never are those products more important than in the wake of a natural disaster.

That’s why 3M established a Global Relief Fund in 2017, providing financial support, including possible employee matches, in response to catastrophic events. The goal of the program is simple: get emergency funds and essential items to people and organizations who need it most as quickly as possible.

The 3M Foundation coordinates product and cash donations to support disaster relief and maintains partnerships with humanitarian aid organizations like Direct Relief and MAP International. They stock 3M products–from first aid essentials to insect repellent–in warehouses so they can be quickly deployed when disasters occur.

Over the past three years, the 3M Foundation has provided a total of $19.9 million in product donations and cash support to these partners and the American Red Cross. 2019 has been another busy year in relief efforts.

Picking up the pieces after Hurricane Dorian

This Category 5 hurricane slammed into the Bahamas — the worst disaster in the country’s history — then continued its way up the United States’ Eastern Seaboard, damaging communities in North and South Carolina.

In response, 3M Foundation donated $50,000 to Direct Relief to support efforts to bring medical, nutritional and personal hygiene products in those areas. The 3M Foundation also fulfilled hundreds of thousands of orders for medical supplies to equip aid workers on the ground. Those supplies include:

  • 437,400 3M™ Surgical Masks
  • 4,500 units of eye protection
  • 42,120 rolls of 3M™ Durapore™ Surgical Tape
  • 2,560 rolls of 3M™ Scotchcast™ Casting Tape
  • 284,310 units of 3M™ Tegaderm™ Brand Dressings
  • 13,000 surgical gowns
  • 115,200 3M™ Particulate Respirators
  • 110,400 units of 3M™ VFlex™ Healthcare Particulate Respirators and Surgical Masks

Managing an Ebola outbreak

3M Respirators

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is currently experiencing the second largest outbreak of Ebola on record, with more than 2,500 cases and 1,600 deaths since August 2018. The World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern after a case of Ebola was confirmed in Goma, a transport hub located near the border of Rwanda.

In an effort to manage cases and curb the spread of this insidious disease, Direct Relief distributed nearly $37,000 of 3M products. Protective coveralls, respirators and masks, Nexcare™ Waterproof Bandages and first aid tape, reflective safety vests and 3M Littmann® Stethoscopes were sent to facilities across the DRC.

3M employee’s heroic effort

3M Valley Plant Maintenance Technician Kyle Kern

3M products can be a crucial part of relief efforts, but sometimes employees take matters into their own hands. That’s exactly what 3M Valley Plant Maintenance Technician Kyle Kern did when extensive flooding hit his hometown of Valley, Nebraska in March 2019.

The Platte River reached a critical flood stage in a matter of hours. Many roads were impassable, leaving people stranded all over the community.

What Kern and his dad did next sounds like the stuff of legend. The two ran rescue missions in Kern’s airboat, navigating oceanic waves and heavy winds along the way. Many were transported to safety following their heroic effort.

“I was happy to be able to help and be a part of it,” Kern said. “It was an amazing experience — but one I’m just hopeful none of us ever have to live through again.”

Giving and Volunteerism

As the social investment arm of 3M, 3Mgives partners with 3M Foundation to engage 3M employees and invest in 3M communities around the world. The 3M Foundation was established in 1953 — since that time, 3Mgives and 3M Foundation have collectively invested more than $1.5 Billion in cash and product donations to nonprofits in communities where we operate.


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