The following article, “Don’t freeze up: Forecast your CU’s winter disaster preparedness”, was published by CUNA NewsNow on January 22nd, 2016, and features an interview with Agility’s VP and General Manager, Paul Sullivan.
WASHINGTON (1/22/16)–It might be high time for credit unions to dust off those disaster preparedness plans, as a behemoth of a blizzard armed with 60 mph winds, ice blasts and snow marches toward the East Coast.
Accuweather.com reported Thursday that the storm, the threat of which had already canceled hundreds of flights along the coast, will stretch from southwestern Connecticut to northern Virginia, and that “whiteout conditions will occur farther west from south-central Pennsylvania to part of western North Carolina.”
Models predict that the serious weather activity will start this afternoon.
Paul Sullivan, vice president and general manager of Agility Recovery, told News Now that it’s imperative credit unions keep both members and staff informed about the status of their branches.
“If they’re in some of these areas, they know now that the weather is going to be horrible and they need to inform members that they will be closing their branches,” Sullivan said. “They need to make sure they get their communications out, via their websites, or emails, so their members know they’re going to be shut down tomorrow, ‘So you might want to come in today.’”
Sullivan also said the communications need to come regularly so that members and staff can stay up to date.
Credit unions also can prepare themselves for the oncoming storm by ensuring they have enough cash on hand to serve members, and to make sure they have a plan in place to resume operations if the power goes out.
“It may be simple as bringing in a mobile branch to open the facility while any damage is repaired,” Sullivan told News Now. “If it’s a power situation, hopefully there’s a plan to bring in a portable generator to get the branch back up in operation. … It’s all about having a good plan in place.”
To help create that plan, Agility provides a checklist to follow for the critical steps to take in preparation of fierce winter conditions. The checklist will help credit unions:
- Protect their buildings, equipment and technology;
- Prepare backup power supplies;
- Create communication plans;
- Create evacuation and shelter-in-place plans;
- Stock disaster kits and go-bags; and
- Protect the health and safety of employees.
Agility Recovery is a CUNA Strategic Services strategic alliance provider.