There is no exact plan to prepare for a global health crisis, is there? Yes, safeguards may be in place, but there will always be a need for more resources. Take for example the consumables used by our front liners, namely masks.

While the pandemic has shut down vehicle production around the world, some auto manufacturers have stepped up in the help efforts. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) has announced that they will start producing facemasks and will distribute them to police, emergency responders, and even firefighters who are or may need to be deployed.

“Protecting our first responders and health care workers has never been more important. In addition to the support we are giving to increase the production of ventilators, we canvassed our contacts across the healthcare industry and it was very clear that there is an urgent and critical need for face masks. We’ve marshaled the resources of the FCA Group to focus immediately on installing production capacity for making masks and supporting those most in need on the front line of this pandemic,” said Mike Manly, CEO of FCA

The needed types of machinery to produce the facemasks are to be installed this week, with manufacturing to start in the weeks after. FCA has said that they are looking at being able to manufacture and donate more than one million protective face masks per month. Initial distribution is slated for the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

FCA is looking at a multi-faceted global program to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic; the program of which is being developed by FCA themselves through manufacturing, supply chain, and engineering expertise.

Help has come from all corners of the globe, and while the above-mentioned countries may be the first recipients of this effort, we have to remember that it does not close the possibility that other countries may benefit from it as well.

Of course, this does beg another question: will our local businesses – not just in the automotive industry – also come up with similar plans, and if they do, will they have the necessary tools and manpower to carry it out?

For now, we can only wait and see. And stay home, too, while we’re at it.