by Ron Daly
Summer is a misleading term. For kids, it’s the magical time on the other side of Memorial Day weekend, full of vacation and beaches and fun trips that bottoms out right at the start of the school year. But summer hasn’t techincally begun – we have to wait until the 20th of June. That’s when the days are at their longest and we move through the hot, long months to reach the cool relief of autumn. We move through this season with one eye on our vacation days and another on the weather.
How do you prepare for “Summer Weather”? It’s not the same as the winter, when a big bag of rock salt and a shovel are essential. There’s nothing to “dig out of” in the summer and it seems as though summer weather can take so many forms. There’s bad air quality, there’s heat waves, there’s bad storms and flash floods. In the DC Metro area, summer days are spent moving from air conditioned car to air conditioned building, a perpetual 50-yard dash to escape the heat and its much more unpleasant cousin, the humidity. Then, there’s hurricanes, flash floods, high winds – it can sure take its toll on the area.
According to this CUNA article, we’ve got a 70% chance of seeing between 9 and 15 named storm systems moving up from the tropics to the coast. One evening of extreme storms in DC shut down Metro lines, caused accidents and outages, and cancelled last Friday’s Nationals game against the Braves. The whole area was in disarray; traffic in the DMV area screws up everything else and seemingly no one can drive in the rain. Three more months of this doesn’t exactly fill anyone with confidence.
In the previous article, the NCUA advises CUs to make the time to update their disaster preparedness plans. Now’s the time to get your communication methods up to date, make sure you have the right person as the point-of-contact for any emergencies that arise, and educate, educate, educate staff about procedures.
“But we don’t have hurricanes, we’re in the middle of the country,” you say. What about flooding? Heat waves? Power outages due to storms? Hurricanes aren’t the only things that disrupt business and damage branches. When’s the last time you took a look at your disaster prep/plan? I ask because, rest assured, you will need to break it out at some point and when you do, you’ll want to know it’s actually useful.
Ready.gov is a helpful resource, as well as the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Katrina-Rita website. Take the next few weeks and get your planning done or review what you worked on last year. Do it before “Summer (Observed)” takes effect and you start to lose your staff to trips, conferences and vacations. Get everyone on the same page. One day, you’ll realize how valuable the time spent on it was.