CUs must help with disaster recovery efforts.

One of the key reasons people bank at credit unions is for the human touch. They tend to be smaller than many banks, often tied to a local community or profession, and are not-for-profit. So when their members are afflicted by natural disasters – from wildfires in California to hurricanes on the East Coast – credit unions have the ability to connect on a very human level to offer assistance and help people put their lives back together. The last thing a homeowner needs following a disaster is to get a call from a nervous lender asking if they’re still able to make that month’s payment.

It’s not enough for credit unions to have procedures, guidelines and policies in place. To be able to respond quickly and effectively when members lose their homes or suffer other losses, it’s important for institutions to have a “playbook” that documents declaring a disaster and the subsequent actions to be performed by loan servicing staff. To reinforce those guidelines during calm times, make sure key employees and executives are trained to handle various scenarios, and to communicate to members what they should do in the tragic event that their lives are upended by a fire, storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency.

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