With flood waters starting to recede in Minot, North Dakota’s top financial regulator said Wednesday he expects to take part in a free national webinar on disaster lending policy on Thursday.
The session is being put on by the Credit Union Association of the Dakotas and will draw on experiences from this spring’s Joplin, Mo., and Alabama tornados as well as the aftermath of Katrina in 2005.
“Yes, I think this is important for those of us as we work through the recovery process with credit unions and banks,” said Financial Institutions Commissioner Robert Entringer.
Among speakers on “In the Face of Disaster” webinar organized by a Seattle consulting firm, the Momentum Group, will be Dawn Harris, executive vice president/chief operating officer of Campus FCU in Baton Rouge, La., and David Mistick, president of Circumxpex, a Pittsburgh firm that advises financial institutions on disaster recovery.
The CUAD said the webinar is aimed at helping credit unions help their members with FEMA resources, such as loans and other aid, and about how to anticipate loan defaults that follow.
The webinar panel includes CU executives with experience dealing with natural disasters related to storm, wind and water damage “as well as professionals with more than 20 years of experience in the field of disaster planning, mitigations and recovery.”
CUAD officials said conditions in flood-ravaged Minot have improved slightly with more employees managing to get to work at the eight institutions, most of which are on higher round. But the flood waters “have cut the city in half and the commute from the north to the south end can take 2 ½ hours,” said Jeff Olson, vice president of advocacy and awareness.
G.E.M. FCU remains under water and has relocated its operations to other CUs.
The Momentum Group, as organizer of the webinar, listed its services as helping CUs “research, plan, design and deliver branch and operations facilities” including during time of crisis.
Meanwhile, the National Credit Union Foundation said it has activated its online donation program to aid victims of the Minot flooding as it did for Joplin and Tuscaloosa.
“It’s nearly impossible to imagine the devastation a flood can cause until you see it or live through one,” said Robbie Thompson, president/CEO of CUAD. “The pictures and video coming from Minot are heartbreaking.” He said more than half of the 40,000 residents of Minot have been impacted by a combination of home loss, forced evacuation from their home, or job loss due to their employer’s business being destroyed.”