JACKSON, Miss. (5/29/08)--With hurricane season less than two weeks away, executives from smaller credit unions across Mississippi met to beef up their preparation in a business continuity workshop. Mississippi was one of the hard-hit states when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005. The Southeast Corporate's “Build a Plan in a Day” workshop was conducted Ken Schroeder, the corporate’s vice president of business continuity. Working on computers, participants learned how to put more structure around their existing business continuity efforts by completing business continuity templates. “My goal was to teach the credit unions some of the basic concepts of business continuity planning, have them understand the templates as they relate to the situation at their own credit union and leave the seminar with a plan in hand,” said Schroeder. “Of course the credit union will have to evolve the plan based on their mission and organization. The folks that attended left with a host of planning tools in hand and are off to a great start.” The biggest problem smaller credit unions have is depth of staff for both planning and implementation, Schroeder said. Laura Burris, president/CEO of McComb (Miss.) FCU, said, "When I walked in, I knew nothing about how to start the process of writing a business continuity plan." Her credit union doesn't have a business continuity plan, she said. Southeast assisted small credit unions in getting grants to attend the workshop from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). More information about grants is on the NCUA website at www.ncua.org. Southeast Corporate said it'll offer a similar workshop in South Florida later in the year.