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Leagues CUs prepare for the flu
MADISON, Wis. (4/28/09)--Recent reports of an outbreak of a new swine flu strain have some state credit union leagues reviewing their pandemic planning operations. There were 40 confirmed cases in five states--including 28 in New York by Monday evening, sparking such actions as school closings in some areas. Outbreaks have been reported in California, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Texas (USA TODAY April 27). “We haven’t had a lot of communication with leagues yet, but we’re sending out a compliance alert tonight,” Valerie Edgington, compliance manager with the Ohio Credit Union League, told News Now Monday. “The alert will be sent to member credit unions, compliance staff and credit union CEOs. “At a league meeting last week, I had mentioned there were three flu pandemics during the last century, and asked for a show of hands if anyone had [response] plans ready, and there were very few hands raised,” she added. The alert sent out Monday night dealt with pandemic planning and resources, Edgington said. It links to various resources such as a business planning checklist, the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Disaster Preparedness page on pandemic information, and U.S. Homeland Security and National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) information on pandemic planning, she added. The Kansas Credit Union Association (KCUA) also is taking steps to prepare credit unions. “We have issued a compliance alert to our credit unions today,” Kim Wheelock, senior vice president of KCUA, told News Now. “We reminded credit unions about the pandemic planning--some of the previous letters--provided by NCUA. We also told credit unions about information from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the U.S. Office of Health and Environment.” The Texas Credit Union League (TCUL) has updated it website with information about the swine flu emergency, and provided several links to pandemic- and disaster-related resources, Linda Webb-Manon, director of public relations for the league, told News Now. TCUL also will publish an article in its daily league publication today to let credit unions know there is information available to them, she added. The California Credit Union League (CCUL) has nothing to report yet, Matt Buck, CCUL communications specialist, told News Now. “It’s too early yet,” he said. CUNA has a long-term business continuity plan (BCP) and has created a BCP Committee, an internal staff committee that addresses the key components of a pandemic or business interruption, Harley Skjervem, CUNA senior vice president of human relations and company pandemic response organizer, told News Now.
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