CUs must help with disaster recovery efforts.

Disaster recovery plans are standard business practice for most financial institutions. The regulators require certain templates and back-up systems to ensure business continuity. A planned response for social disaster recovery is critical as well. Social disasters can be so intrusive, widespread and damaging to an area, they can alter the face of the community radically for potentially longer than a few weeks or even months. Think 9/11. Think Katrina, Harvey and Irma. Think Las Vegas and school shootings. Think California wildfires. What can credit unions do for their communities aside from the transactional aspects of the member relationship? Consider a system for social disaster recovery.

Redwood Credit Union President/CEO Brett Martinez told me regarding the California wildfires, “We’ve been affected in every way imaginable, and probably some you can’t imagine.” About 7,000 homes were destroyed within a three-mile radius of RCU’s headquarters, some financed by the credit union. Twenty-three of the homes caught in the devastation were those of RCU employees. Plus 150 credit union employees were evacuated from their homes. The credit union put employees up in hotels, bought them food and even provided a temporary daycare for employees while schools were shut down a few weeks.

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