As we all know disasters happen no matter what part of the country you live in. Whether it’s the hurricanes in the south, the earthquakes and fires in the west, or the tornadoes, strong storms and harsh winters in the Midwest and east, anyone can face a disaster. As we all prepare our homes for these natural disasters at various times throughout the year, we also need to make sure we have a plan in place for our credit unions and members, especially in times of severe weather when your members need access to their funds more than ever.

One example of disaster recovery and working through a natural disaster is the case of Lennox Employees Credit Union. This credit union and other businesses and homes located in Marshalltown, Iowa, experienced a devastating tornado that caused a lot of damage. The credit union was closed during the weather event but was able to successfully serve all of its members remotely, through the help of Sharetec Service Bureau. Within one hour, Sharetec was able to get the credit union back up and running and gave members full access to their accounts. ACH and share draft returns were some of the crucial services that were up and running in under one hour.

Carl Mundth, President/CEO of Lennox ECU, comments, “We were lucky and did not have nearly as much damage as those around us, with many of our members in desperate need of access to their accounts. Sharetec contacted us right away and were awesome in getting the Sharetec icon on my laptop so I could process ACH and Share draft returns while assisting members during this frantic time.”

Carl offered the following advice for credit unions that may not have experienced a disaster.

Advice for Credit Unions

“Look over your disaster recovery plans. You think it won’t happen to you, but it can happen to anyone within just a few minutes. If we had not been on Sharetec Service Bureau, ACH and Share draft would not have run, and members would have been without access to their funds; it was a tremendous help.”

Accessing the CU System

“Being able to access the credit union’s system is a must. The power went out at the credit union Thursday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. and was not restored until Sunday evening. When returning on Monday, everything was up and running. During the down time, with the help of Sharetec’s business partner, LKCS, we were able to put a message on the website to alert members that the CU was closed and accommodate out of town members by allowing them an increase in their ATM/debit card limits.”

Preparing for a Disaster

“Recovering from a tragedy takes a lot of time and many credit unions will see a huge loss. To help ensure credit unions can recover from a disaster like we went through, it’s important for credit unions to be on Sharetec’s Service Bureau. Wi-Fi is very important during a disaster and with the help of Sharetec, this allowed the credit union to work ACH and Share draft exceptions.”

Sharetec recommends all credit unions consider Sharetec’s Service Bureau to help them through disasters they may encounter. Matt Isger, Regional Director for Sharetec, comments, “With so many disasters happening all around us, it’s crucial for credit unions to have a plan in place. Members need to be able to access their accounts to make it through any disaster and they are counting on their credit union to be there for them. Sharetec’s Service Bureau is a great option for credit unions who want to be prepared.”

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