‘Life-threatening’ Hurricane Florence Takes Aim at East Coast - Is Your Credit Union Prepared?

Expanding in size and strengthening yet again, violent Hurricane Florence is on a beeline toward the East Coast as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane. Catastrophic flooding and destructive winds are becoming very likely in the eastern Carolinas north of Charleston, where hurricane warnings were issued late Tuesday.

The Washington Post reports forecasts generally project the storm to make landfall between northern South Carolina and North Carolina’s Outer Banks as a Category 3 or 4 Thursday into Friday, although shifts in the track are possible and storm impacts will expand great distances beyond where landfall occurs.

Hurricane Florence Landfall prediction path









The National Hurricane Center is warning of a triple threat in the Carolinas and Virginia:

  1. A “life-threatening storm surge” at the coast — a rise in ocean water over normally dry land.
  2. “Life-threatening freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event” from the coast to interior sections.
  3. “Damaging hurricane-force winds” at the coast and some distance inland.

“All interests from South Carolina into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials,” the Hurricane Center said.

Is Your Credit Union Prepared?

A disaster, whether natural or man-made, and although infrequent, may require credit unions to implement their business continuity plans and to improvise creative solutions to address unforeseen difficulties quickly and sometimes, on the fly. Regular reassessment as to how well your credit union is prepared for reasonably foreseeable threats across all levels of the organization and not just from the perspective of recovering the information technology operations is critical to being prepared. Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes; technological failures such as power outages and brown-outs; and social threats such as riots, strikes and personal acts of violence top the list of threats requiring immediate attention.

Business Continuity refers to the activities required to keep your credit union running during a period of displacement or interruption of normal operation. Whereas, Disaster Recovery is the process of rebuilding your credit union’s operation or infrastructure after the disaster has passed. It’s important to understand the difference in terminology and ensure that your business continuity plan includes a collection of procedures and information which is developed, compiled and maintained in readiness for use in the event of an emergency or a disaster.  

Download Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning, a white paper from CUNA Mutual which outlines procedures and guidelines your credit union could follow in developing its own business continuity plan. The white paper is part of CUNA Mutual Group’s Risk Management White Paper Series. Visit the CMG Disaster Recovery page for instructions and other resources to use if a disaster or major loss occurs to your credit union.