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Sandy so far 25 CUs damaged CUAid raises 65000
MADISON, Wis. (11/2/12)--About 25 credit union policy holders in seven states have reported damages from Hurricane Sandy so far, and more damage reports are expected, said CUNA Mutual Group Thursday.  Credit unions and movement supporters have already chipped in $65,000 to CUAid to assist credit unions through the aftermath, with several organizations making appeals, even internationally.

Click to view larger image CUNA Strategic Services provider Agility Recovery took photos in parts of  New York City after Superstorm Sandy swept through  the area Monday and Tuesday. One building lost its walls. (Photo provided by Agility Recovery)
"We have received damage reports from about 25 credit union policyholders so far, located in seven states. Most of the claim reports are for minor building damages in the New York City, Long Island and Jersey Shore areas," said Phil Tschudy, media relations manager at CUNA Mutual Group.

"Many credit unions are still without power, and we expect to receive more claim reports. The damage reports we have received do not include those caused by flooding or storm surges, which are insured through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) National Flood Insurance Program," he said.

"Power is, and will continue to be a major problem for many days. However, per our findings and discussion with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) all credit unions are operational. Some branches are closed, but members can transact business via the Web, or at other branch locations of their credit union," Tschudy told News Now Thursday afternoon.

"CUNA Mutual Group has been proactively reaching out to credit unions in the impacted areas to determine how they are faring, and not waiting for them to contact us for help.  If we have not been able to reach a credit union or if the credit union was unsure if a branch was damaged due to evacuation, we have had our adjusters work with authorities to make onsite inspections, which have sometimes meant arranging for police escorts. These inspections help us determine if damages need to be immediately addressed, if power is on, and if it is necessary to arrange for security to protect the building and its contents," he said.

"Our staff has been working closely with the NCUA and credit union leagues to share information. We are continuing our attempts to contact a small number of credit unions we have not yet reached and are asking they contact CUNA Mutual Group at 800-637-2676 and let us know of any problems they are having, big or small, as well as if they are aware of any other credit unions they know of that need help."

The National Credit Union Foundation late Thursday afternoon told News Now that since it activated its online disaster relief system CUAid.coop Wednesday morning, credit unions and organizations have donated nearly $65,000 to the efforts to help credit unions.  It had raised $25,000 in the first 24 hours and by the end of Thursday the funds had more than doubled, said Christopher Morris, NCUF's director of communications.

The World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) Thursday encouraged international credit union organizations to support disaster relief efforts through CUAid.coop.

"Credit unions, their staff and employees in the Northeast have been significantly affected by this disaster. Many of these are credit unions that have given  to help rebuild other countries hit by disaster," said WOCCU President/CEO Brian Branch. "As a global community committed to building up and helping one another, we encourage our global community to help NCUF support credit unions trying to get their members back on their feet," he added.

"Everyone who supports CUAid is helping affected credit union people directly with critical needs, longer-term recovery needs, operational needs and assisting credit union members," said NCUF Executive Director Bucky Sebastian.

The Texas Credit Union Foundation (TCUF) Thursday announced it had approved a $5,000 grant for hurricane relief efforts to be given to CUAid.coop (LoneStar Leaguer Nov. 1).

"When Hurricanes Ike and Rita struck Southeast Texas, the credit union movement came to our aid. The support we received from credit unions across the country allowed us to respond to the immediate needs of credit union employees affected by the devastating hurricanes," said TCUF Executive Director Courtney Moran. "That is one of the many wonderful things about the credit union movement--we are a family that helps and supports one another in good times and in bad."

NCUF has provided special webpage buttons with Hurricane-Sandy specific materials credit unions can use in their fundraising efforts.
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