National Hurricane Preparedness Week Highlights Expected 2011 Storm Forecast
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 25, 2011) – In recognition of National Hurricane Preparedness Week, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Debbie Matz reminds credit unions to adopt contingency plans for potential weather disasters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted an above normal 2011 Atlantic hurricane season.
“For credit unions in hurricane-prone areas, NCUA has online resources designed to help them and their members prepare to stay safe, both physically and financially,” said Chairman Matz. “National Hurricane Preparedness Week is a good time to review credit union disaster plans. Is your plan commensurate with the complexity of your operation? Does it focus on minimizing service interruptions? Will it instill confidence during an emergency? NCUA’s website has important information to help answer these questions and plan for a disaster.”
NCUA’s hurricane recovery kit for credit unions can be found online here. NCUA soon expects to issue a new 2011 letter to credit unions on hurricane planning. It will be posted online as well.
Resources like www.ready.gov include financial tips in preparation for disasters. One suggestion is to make use of electronic payments as disasters can disrupt mail service. During Hurricane Katrina, 85,000 people receiving Social Security checks experienced this problem.
NCUA has encouraged credit unions to promote direct deposit since 2005 through the U.S. Department of the Treasury GoDirect initiative. Direct deposit to a checking or savings account is the best option for people with credit union accounts. The Direct Express® prepaid debit card is also available for people who do not have an account. Federal benefit recipients can sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or visiting www.GoDirect.org
Resources also exist for continuity of operations during disasters for small businesses, such as credit union branches. Visit http://www.ready.gov/business/index.html for information. NCUA staff members are trained to ensure adequate preparations for disasters. If a credit union needs assistance, management should call their regional office or examiner.
NCUA is the independent federal agency created by the U.S. Congress to regulate, charter and supervise federal credit unions. With the backing of the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government, NCUA operates and manages the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund, insuring the deposits of more than 96 million account holders in all federal credit unions and the overwhelming majority of state-chartered credit unions. At
Pocket Cents, NCUA also educates the public on consumer protection and financial literacy issues..