Just Add Water
CUNA put on display last week one of the new mobile facilities it is making available to credit unions seeking to be prepared in the event of a disaster of any type.
Offered through a new partnership with Agility Recovery Systems, and part of a larger business continuity effort CUNA began putting in place in the wake of the 2005 hurricanes, the unit was on display during CUNA's Future Forum here last week, coincidentally at the same time a tropical storm was lashing Orlando.
The new mobile facilities are essentially fully self-contained branch offices that Agility promises to have on-site within 24 to 48 hours of a credit union's request.
The company said it has access to more than 100,000 of the 12-by-20 modular facilities, which include two teller stations, desks, and complete computer connectivity using satellite-based technology.
The facilities include a generator and enough fuel to run for 24 to 36 hours, meaning if a credit union operates for eight hours or less per day it can be open for several days before needing to replenish fuel supplies.
Agility CEO Paul Sullivan, who conducted a tour of the facility, emphasized that it requires no external services at all to operate other than a flat piece of land. It requires approximately four hours to set up once it arrives on site.
Credit unions have the option of testing their ability to recreate operations as part of their business continuity plans. There is also a small kitchen and washroom, and it is ADA compliant, along with being air conditioned or heated, depending on the situation.
CUNA CEO Dan Mica said the new mobile facilities and the broader effort to assemble a suite of business continuity services for credit unions came out of a task force, underwritten by CUNA, CUNA Mutual and the state leagues, that was created in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, which devastated many credit union operations along the Gulf Coast and in New Orleans.
That suite of products, which is being offered through CUNA Strategic Services, and includes products from other providers, including Accell (financial counseling), Canon (digital imaging), Diebold (ATMs and other cash dispensing terminals), Perimeter Internetworking (IT), Strohl Systems (business continuity tools), and VoiceGard (see related story, below).
One issue that arose after the hurricanes was access to cash deliveries, which Sullivan told The Credit Union Journal credit unions will need to prepare for, as well.
Credit unions interested in the facility back-up pay a monthly retainer and have no out-of-pocket expenses for 60 days after the facility arrives, according to Sullivan.
After that a daily usage fee kicks in, which he said is aimed at getting credit unions to move ahead with securing permanent facilities.