As many credit unions learned recently during Hurricane Sandy, disasters can happen. Especially in storm-prone coastal areas, it's important for credit unions to have reliable back-up plans for their data should a weather-related catastrophe strike.

That's exactly what the $4.7 billion VyStar Credit Union, in Jacksonville, Fla., made sure of in 2012. Working with the Blue Bell, Pa.-based technology company Unisys, which had partnered with the cooperative for a decade, VyStar moved its Unisys' FIS MISER core banking system onto the vendor's newer ClearPath Server. It also assigned a disaster recovery role to its existing production server, and implemented enterprise-wide automation, replication and storage functionality, according to Unisys.

"We weren't in the optimal position to recover in an untimely situation," said Paul Bement, vice president of information technology and operations for VyStar. "Being that we're in an adverse weather zone, we needed to be prepared."

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has been immersed in the credit union industry for over a decade. She first joined CU Times in 2011 as a freelance writer, and following a two-year hiatus from 2013-2015, during which time she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union), she re-joined the CU Times team full-time as managing editor. She was promoted to executive editor in 2019. In the earlier days of her career, Chilingerian focused on news and lifestyle journalism, serving as a writer and editor for numerous regional publications in Oregon, Louisiana, South Carolina and the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, she holds experience in marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space. At CU Times, she covers People and Community news, cybersecurity, fintech partnerships, marketing, workplace culture, leadership, DEI, branch strategies, digital banking and more. She currently works remotely and splits her time between Southern California and Portland, Ore.