Sometimes Hurricane Relief Needs Weaponry
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Sometimes relief from the effects of Hurricane Katrina could only have been delivered at the point of a gun. As soon as it became clear that Hurricane Katrina represented an historic storm with catastrophic damage, the leadership and staff at the $734 million Pen Air Federal Credit Union put collection boxes in all the credit union's branches and started a relief fund. By September 2, the day before the Labor Day Weekend, the credit union had collected thousands of dollars and gotten in contact with the Biloxi based $1 billion Keesler FCU. On September 2 with an armed escort, Pen Air executives left for Biloxi carrying the money they had collected for Keesler. Later, Keesler staff arrived at Pen Air's headquarters to use the credit union's offices and facilities to start serving its members through a special loan call center. Pen Air's experience during Hurricane Ivan and its aftermath last year had a direct impact on the credit union's reaction in the wake of Katrina. "We are happy to lend assistance to a fellow credit union that will also help many other people. It wasn't long ago, when Pen Air needed assistance after a major storm. We appreciated the help, and we know Keesler does too," explained Pen Air CEO John Davis.