As credit unions in Florida and Georgia prepare for Hurricane Irma, there’s good news from the U.S. Virgin Islands. After experiencing a nerve-wracking Wednesday as the Category 5 hurricane passed over the islands, credit unions have re-opened and are assisting their members as they recover.
Frederiksted FCU, serving 3,000 members on the western side of St. Croix, and Christiansted FCU, serving 3,300 members on the eastern end of the island, re-opened their branches to members on Friday, Sept. 8.
“11 months ago, our credit union converted from an in-house core software to a cloud-based solution,” says Patrice Canton, CEO of Frederiksted FCU. “This was a critical component of our disaster recovery planning, since we no longer had to worry about storing our members’ data in-house. We knew that it was being managed at a secure datacenter, and our members continued to have access to their accounts 24×7 via online banking and text. Internet service was up and down during the storm, but text service remained operational most of the time.”
“We learned from our recent response to Hurricane Harvey,” says Margie Walker-Horsch, director of managed services at CU*SOUTH, Frederiksted’s service provider. “Within hours, we added resources to our call center to support the additional member service requests, and updated our Rules of Engagement documents to address this specific contingency.”
“Throughout the past 48 hours, we remained in contact with our US Virgin Islands credit union teams – sometimes text was the only channel that was working,” notes Margie. “But knowing that you’ve got that link to your support network, and the reassurance of being able to connect anytime, that’s so important when you’re surrounded by the howling winds and the sounds of trees snapping all around you.”
As the light of dawn on Thursday began to show the damage to the island, and the credit union started their preparations for re-opening, Patrice took time to send one more text to Margie, ““I just love my new family at CU*SOUTH! You guys are awesome!”
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CU*South is a credit union-owned cooperative focused on building a network of successful credit unions. CU*South offers a wide variety of services including its flagship CU*BASE processing system offered in both online (ASP) and in-house processing environments, and Internet development services featuring It's Me 247 online banking product, and It’s Me 247 Mobile Web Banking – free for CU*BASE clients. As a partner of the cuasterisk.com network, CU*South provides the most comprehensive offering of information technology tools and services through a collaborative, shared ownership model, with the same great value credit unions offer members.
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