Hurricane Sandy: Resilience a Key in Disaster Recovery
When a credit union suffers a disaster, whether it be from a Hurricane Sandy, Winter Storm Athena, the floods of last spring, tornadoes of summer, earthquakes from anytime, political unrest — whatever disaster de jour presents itself, it is critical to restore service as soon as possible.
While data recovery is really important (after all, who has what money in which account is pretty critical), it is probably not the immediate concern to the member standing outside the closed credit union door.
Putting backups in place requires a close look at the threats and risks imposed on the credit union, discovering the most likely risks and putting mitigations in place to reduce their impact or duration. For example, if a widespread, long-term power outage will shut the doors, investing a couple thousand dollars in an emergency generator is a pretty logical choice.
If loss of Internet access separates the tellers from the core data, ensuring availability of a current trial balance might be cheap insurance. If food poisoning from the recent chili cook-off takes staff out for a week, a backup source of people (as in shared branching or reaching back to recent retirees, or shared staffing with a sister credit union) would be a smart move. If the building is inaccessible because of structural damage or other habitability issues (consider sewer backups during a flood), backups should include a place to set up shop that is available to both staff and membership. This might be a corner table in a coffee shop, and the cost for that arrangement might be a purchase of some coffee shop gift certificates to give to members.