When Hurricane Gustav slammed into the Louisiana coastline on Labor Day weekend, MidSouth Bancorp was ready. Before the category two storm barreled out of the Gulf, MidSouth had to make sure its ATMs were sufficiently stocked to handle fleeing residents' huge demand for cash. While some banks fell short, MidSouth succeeded in meeting customers' needs.

"You can't live down here and not know how to do it," Karen Lee Hail says of the bank's preparations, which included moving its call center out of the storm's path to a location in Texas; putting the IT, facilities and electronic banking teams on 24-hour rotations; and situating special response teams in Shreveport, Dallas, Beaumont and Houston.

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