OKLAHOMA CITY (4/18/14)--An Oklahoma-based credit union hasn't only promised to keep its members' money safe, it's also pledged to keep the members themselves safe as well (The Journal Record April 11).
The board of directors at Weokie CU, Oklahoma City, with $929 million in assets, recently voted to install storm shelters at nearly all of the credit union's branches to protect members in an area quite vulnerable to tornadoes.
Brent Taylor, Weokie president, said the idea to build the shelters was spurred by the events of last May when a tornado ripped apart a Tinker FCU branch building, while eight credit union members and 14 employees took cover inside the safe deposit box vault.
Tinker, with $3.1 billion in assets, is also based out of Oklahoma City.
"The board was pleased that we were doing that type of work to provide protection for our staff and customers," Taylor told The Journal Record. "Based on what I saw last year, all the devastation in Moore, it really makes you think: What's going to happen with your team if something like that comes through?"
Taylor wouldn't divulge how much it will cost the credit union to fix its Oklahoma City area branches with the shelters.
Nine of the branches that will receive the renovations will have doors upgraded to meet storm shelter standards, while the credit union's two smaller "express" locations with drive-thru lanes will be equipped with above-ground storm shelters.
Weokie leaders had considered building the shelters in spaces separate from the safe deposit boxes and cash safes, but ultimately they decided the vault would be the most appropriate place.
"We won't turn people away in a storm situation," Taylor said in The Journal Record. "We won't lock the doors."