The National Credit Union Association released the following, in preparation for Hurricane Irma. While, thankfully, we are not inline for Irma, those of us in the Pacific Northwest do occasionally experience disasters.
NCUA Has Disaster Resources for Areas Affected by Hurricane Irma
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sept. 7, 2017) – The National Credit Union Administration recognizes the serious threat Hurricane Irma poses to credit unions and their members. The agency remains ready to provide assistance to those impacted by the disaster.
As part of their disaster preparedness, the NCUA advises credit union staff to keep in contact with local authorities and to make sure they provide their examiners with emergency contact information. Credit unions needing assistance should contact their regional offices.
One of the most powerful storms in recorded history, Hurricane Irma on its current trajectory could make landfall in Florida early Sunday. Most credit unions in the storm’s path have closed or plan to close as the storm approaches.
NCUA Assistance for Credit Unions
When a disaster strikes, NCUA personnel operate under three priorities:
- Ensure the safety of credit union staff;
- Keep facilities and operations available to members; and
- Provide material and technical assistance, as needed, to affected credit unions.
President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday issued disaster declarations for the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Florida, which makes federal assistance available. Under the NCUA’s disaster assistance policy for those areas, the agency will, where necessary:
- Encourage credit unions to make loans with special terms and reduced documentation to affected members;
- Guarantee lines of credit for credit unions through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund;
- Make loans to meet the liquidity needs of member credit unions through the Central Liquidity Facility; and
- Reschedule routine examinations of affected credit unions.
NCUA examiners will remain in close contact with the affected local credit unions to offer assistance. The NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives can provide urgent needs grants of up to $7,500 to low-income credit unions that experience sudden costs to restore operations interrupted by the storm.
Credit Unions May Provide Help
Federal credit unions may provide assistance to other credit unions and non-members in the affected areas under certain conditions:
- They may provide services to members of other credit unions under their correspondent services authority;
- They may provide emergency financial services for non-members, including check cashing, access to ATM networks, or other services to meet short-term emergency needs of individuals in the areas affected by the floods, under the authority to engage in charitable activities; and
- If they provide services on a charitable basis, they may not impose charges for services that exceed their direct costs.
Credit union members in areas hit by Hurricane Irma who need assistance should contact the NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center at 800.755.1030 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern.