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Credit Unions in Florida, Southeast Should Prepare for Hurricane Matthew

October 2016
Credit Unions in Florida, Southeast Should Prepare for Hurricane Matthew

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Oct. 5, 2016) – Credit unions in Florida and parts of the Eastern Seaboard should take steps to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Matthew early Friday morning, the National Credit Union Administration said today.

“We’re reminding credit unions and their members to take the necessary precautions to stay safe,” NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger said. “Even if the storm loses strength, areas in its path should be ready for heavy rains, high winds and flooding. If they haven’t already, credit unions should review their disaster recovery plans and be prepared for increased needs for member services. Members also should take steps in case public services and transportation are disrupted, including having cash on hand if their communities lose power and credit union branches and ATMs become unavailable.”

Hurricane Matthew is currently located off the northern coast of Cuba, travelling north, northwest. Matthew is predicted to pass very close to the central Florida coast late Thursday or early Friday and potentially make landfall in that area.

In addition, hurricane-force winds and rain could affect coastal communities from Miami, Florida, to Virginia Beach, Virginia, beginning Thursday morning and lasting through Sunday afternoon. The primary threats are extreme winds, heavy, sustained rains with flooding and possible tornadoes. Storm surges up to fifteen feet or greater are possible in the immediate landfall area.

NCUA is watching the storm closely, and the agency will monitor the conditions of credit unions in Matthew’s path. NCUA will be ready to assist credit unions with maintaining or restoring operations, if necessary. The agency maintains a hurricane and disaster information page on its website with more material on preparedness and staying safe.

Credit union members with questions may contact NCUA’s Consumer Assistance Center at 800-755-1030 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern. 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.

The National Weather Service has an information page on Matthew, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has an information page on being prepared for hurricanes.

Credit union member deposits remain protected by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Administered by NCUA, the Share Insurance Fund insures individual accounts up to $250,000, and a member’s interest in all joint accounts combined is insured up to $250,000. The Share Insurance Fund separately protects IRA and KEOGH retirement accounts up to $250,000. The Share Insurance Fund has the backing of the full faith and credit of the United States.

Members with questions about their insurance coverage can find information online at the Share Insurance Coverage page of NCUA’s website.

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