Credit unions closed branches early Friday on the Outer Banks as Hurricane Irene closed in to begin its march up the East Coast.
“The safety of our employees is uppermost which is why two of our branches at Manteo and Nags Head will be closing at noon today,” said Leigh Brady, senior vice president of education services for the $23 billion State Employees’ Credit Union in Raleigh, N.C.
Earlier this week, the CU sent extra cash to some 100 of its branches east of Interstate 95 after witnessing members coming in to get funds. The extra demand comes from “accommodating people who have left or are leaving the affected areas,” said Brady.
Even though the hurricane weakened slightly over the Atlantic today, SECU like others in eastern North Carolina began implementing their 24/7 emergency call center operations to take care of member demands.
Also within the hour, CUNA said Agility Recovery, one of its Strategic Services vendors, will be conducting a webinar, “Hurricane Irene: Current Threats & Practical Steps to Prepare” to help CUs across the Northeast get ready for the hurricane. The webinar contains up to the minute hurricane maps and other disaster data.
Meanwhile, the $682 million asset Marine FCU in Jacksonville said it would be closing all of its North Carolina branches on Saturday and that has already set up a special command center at the CU’s headquarters.
In an advisory issued today, the North Carolina Credit Union League said its staff has reached out to all of its CUs in the eastern part of the state.
"We wanted to ensure that our credit unions had all the resources and information they need to properly implement their disaster preparedness plans and get ready for the storm," said NCCUL President/CEO John Radebaugh. All CUs contacted reported that they were carefully following their disaster plans while carefully monitoring the movement of Irene, said the league.