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Hurricane Isaac threatening Florida, top ten things for CUs to do before storms hit

hurricane photo

In the midst of "Storm Season" and storms bearing down on Southeastern states, there are a few things credit unions should do in before a storm approaches.

Top 10 list of things to do at your credit union before a storm hits:

  1. Make sure that credit union has fresh supplies in your emergency supply kits including water, batteries, and that your employees are personally prepared.  Your staff is your most valuable asset and if they are pre-occupied with their personal disaster recovery, they will not be able to help you meet your member’s needs.
  2. Cash is King during disasters.  Consider increasing your cash order from the FED or whomever you get cash from.  And, make sure your ATMs are fully stocked.
  3. Consider the likelihood of flooding in your area. Storm surge can approach 10-15 feet which could mean flooding significantly inland, particularly if you are near ocean connected waterways. Raising all computers and networking equipment above ground level may help reduce the risk of ruining the workstations. Placing equipment on chairs or desks may be a good idea.
  4. If you are near the forecast track of a storm, secure items (outside the credit union) that could become missiles during the storm.
  5. Make sure your roof, roof drains for flat roofs, and gutters are free of debris.
  6. Park your car(s) in safe areas.  If you are near the forecast track of a any storm, it might be a good idea to move that repo away from that nice shady spot in the credit union’s parking lot to a wide open parking lot with no trees around.  Some cities and counties have plans to move public vehicles to large open areas and then surround them with larger tougher vehicles like school buses and dump trucks.
  7. Make sure your list of emergency contact numbers is correct and current. This should include your data processing vendors, IT support personnel, credit union with reciprocal processing agreements, etc. Include multiple numbers wherever possible (i.e. cellular, land lines, home numbers, etc.) to increase the likelihood of getting through.
  8. Place plastic over equipment to protect it if structural damage occurs. Simple garbage bags and some packing tape can help prevent water damage if the roof rips off, windows blow in, or other structural damage occurs. Of course, be sure that the equipment is off and unplugged before covering with plastic, to avoid overheating.
  9. If you have a generator, test it to ensure it working properly and that your fuel is topped off and your re-suppler is ready.
  10. Ensure that your backup systems are working properly and take at least one copy of your server’s data offsite on the last day before the storm hits.  And, ensure that you have access to the CD-ROMs and other media required to install your core data processing apps from scratch. These, plus your backups should help to get your core systems operational in the event of a total loss.

For more information on disaster preparedness, recovery, and resources visit the LSCU Disaster Recovery page.