NCUF Raises $15,000 for Tornado Relief

Foundation activated its online disaster relief system, CUAid, on Saturday.

May 3, 2011

In two days, the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) collected $15,000 to help credit union people affected by the recent tornadoes in the Southeast.

NCUF activated it online disaster relief system, CUAid, on Saturday.

“Visiting the affected areas and talking to credit union officials and members really drives home the human toll an event like last Wednesday’s tornadoes have on our communities,” says Patrick La Pine, president/CEO of the League of Southeastern Credit Unions & Affiliates (LSCU). “I am heartened by the response of our credit union community and the human spirit in responding to this tragedy which will have a lasting impact on the region for years to come.”

While most Tuscaloosa credit unions survived last week’s tornadoes unscathed, some weren’t as fortunate. DCH Credit Union closed last Thursday and Friday after suffering damage to the front of its building, LSCU reports, but offered shared branching to its members.

The credit union reopened Monday at noon using generator power, and resumed normal hours on Tuesday.

Alabama Credit Union and Tuscaloosa Credit Union helped DCH members access their money up to $200 apiece even though the DCH server was down.

Many hospital employees, who account for a big portion of DCH’s membership, count on the credit union to access their money after payday.

“This really saved our hospital employees who had no other banking options,” Amy Price, DCH marketing director, told LSCU.

DCH also set up a mobile center in the cafeteria of the hospital to help members access their accounts and emergency loans up to $500. DCH processed $125,000 worth of these loans.

Two DCH employees also lost everything they had in the tornado. The Southeastern Credit Union Foundation is working to assess their needs.

Alabama Credit Union is offering affected members loan extensions and interest-free loans up to $1,000, and is waiving loan payments. Tuscaloosa Credit Union is working with the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation and the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority to try to help 116 families whose homes were destroyed.

Pen Air Federal Credit Union donated a mobile branch to Community Credit Union, Gadsden, Ala., to replace a Rainsville branch that was destroyed.

Credit unions can make donations to the SECUF Disaster Relief Fund or to CUAid.

NCUF developed CUAid in cooperation with state credit union foundations, state credit union leagues, and the CUNA’s Disaster Preparedness Committee in 2006.

Next: NCUA activates disaster relief policy

NCUA activates disaster relief policy

NCUA Board Chairman Debbie Matz activated the agency’s disaster relief policy to help credit unions and their members rebuild and recover from last week’s storms, which killed at least 350 people and caused $2 billion to $5 billion in insured losses.

Under the agency’s disaster assistance policy, NCUA will, where necessary:

  • Encourage credit unions to make loans with special terms and reduced documentation to affected members;
  • Reschedule routine examinations of affected credit unions;
  • Guarantee lines of credit for credit unions through the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund; and
  • Make loans to meet the liquidity needs of member credit unions through the Central Liquidity Facility.

During disaster conditions, according to the agency, 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.

Federal credit unions may also provide assistance to other credit unions and nonmembers in the affected areas, under certain conditions:

  • A federal credit union may provide services to persons who are members of another credit union under their correspondent services authority.
  • Emergency financial services for nonmembers—including check cashing, access to ATM networks, or other services to meet short-term emergency needs—can be provided under the authority to engage in charitable activities.
  • Federal credit unions providing services on a charitable basis may not impose charges for services that exceed their direct costs.

Credit unions and credit union members needing help because of last week’s storms may contact NCUA’s Region III office in Atlanta at 678-443-3000 during normal business hours.