Effective resource allocation eases recovery

State Employees' Credit Union reroutes calls to serve members in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.

This is bonus coverage from “Wading Through Disaster” in the March 2017 issue of CUES’ Credit Union Management magazine.

As Hurricane Matthew made its way up the Atlantic coast in early October, meteorologists projected that its impact on North Carolina would not be very severe. Oops. Instead, it drove right into the southeastern part of the state and blasted 34 counties with high winds and major flooding.

CUES member Mike Lord was new to his current post as president/CEO of State Employees’ Credit Union, Raleigh, N.C., but having been with the organization for over 40 years—30 of them as CFO—he had seen the impact of Hurricanes Hugo, Fran and Floyd in the late ’80s and early ’90s, and he understood the challenges the $34 billion CU was about to face. So while Matthew’s impact was much greater than had been forecast, there was still some time to prepare.

“We anticipated that there would be a big need for cash, since that’s what happened with Hurricane Floyd in 1999, when the greater part of eastern North Carolina was flooded, so we put a lot of cash out there,” Lord says. “Another thing we did when we closed on Friday night as the hurricane approached was to raise equipment off of the floor in flood-prone areas, and we put plastic over computer monitors and keyboards and other electronic equipment in case of heavy rains that would cause roof leaks. We also have branches that are pretty close to rivers that run through some communities, so we checked the sump pumps in those buildings to make sure they were working properly.”

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