LAS VEGAS-Taking a leaf from CUNA's "Adopt a Credit Union" program on Katrina, Financial Service Centers Cooperative is debuting "Adopt a Shared Branch Kiosk." As a token but still noteworthy gesture of disaster preparedness, FSCC began signing up CUs last week to purchase kiosks for conventional use or to be shipped to disaster sites. Under the program, unveiled at the closing session of FSCC's annual conference here, CUs can either separately or jointly purchase a kiosk for a minimum $25,000 in a pooling arrangement. A designated "parent" is in charge of ensuring the kiosk is properly stocked with cash and equipment and ready to be shipped when needed. "Look at how vital a kiosk helped Northrop-Grumman in Louisiana," said Bonnie Kramer, chief operating officer of FSCC in referring to a Gardena, Calif. CU which was able to resume operations with a borrowed kiosk at its Lakes Charles branch following Hurricane Rita.
The rules stipulate that when a disaster occurs, the parent credit union will be notified, but that it also must have a generator and wireless router ready. Until disaster strikes, the "Shared Service Branch Kiosk can be used as a shared branch outlet and ATM at any location the parent credit union selects," said FSCC. Kramer said CUs involved in shared branching have been looking for ways to help out in disasters and so we saw this as one way it could be handled.