Connecting With Hurricane Victims

Credit unions can reach out to members affected by Hurricane Sandy in several ways.

 
 

Hurricane Sandy flooded streets and homes, knocked down trees and power lines, and disrupted transportation and communication systems. Now that the storm is over, it’s time to clean up the debris and rebuild what’s been destroyed.

Depending on where your members are located, their priorities may differ right now. While those who were directly impacted are focusing on recovering from the damage done to their homes and businesses, others who were safe from Sandy are looking for a way to contribute to victims’ recovery.

Here’re four ways you can help your members manage the Hurricane Sandy recovery.

  • Help members document damage. Get in touch with your members and give them information on how to document and file insurance claims for post-Sandy damage. This article from Media Bistro, for example, highlights five apps that allow victims to document and file claims from both iOS and Android phones.
  • Offer specialized loans to help victims get back on their feet. Not only were homes and other personal property damaged during the hurricane, but many businesses were impacted, too. And small businesses may need a boost to manage the costs. The SBA offers “low-interest, long-term loans for damages caused by a disaster … available for physical damage to businesses as well as economic damage as a result of the natural disaster.”
  • Protect members from hurricane-related fraud. Business Insider reported yesterday on “What Hurricane Sandy Scams Will Look Like” including fake aid websites and charities and identity theft due to evacuation or stolen mail. Members should be aware of the scams they may encounter and what you can do to help them manage these problems.
  • Raise funds to help victims. Whether or not your area has been directly impacted by the hurricane, you could rally your members to aid victims along the East Coast. University of Iowa Community Credit Union, for example, has started a matching collection for victims of Hurricane Sandy that will be donated through the American Red Cross.
 
 

Nov. 1, 2012


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