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Rev Up Crisis Communications For Hurricane Season
MADISON, Wis. (8/12/13)--The peak of hurricane season is beginning and so far, only four named storms have surfaced in the Atlantic. However, although the National Hurricane Center has reduced the number of named storms expected for the 2013 hurricane season, credit unions in coastal areas can still expect an "above average" storm season, NHC said in its August update.
The center now is forecasting 13-19 named storms, including seven to nine hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes of at least 111 mph winds.  In May, it had forecast 13-20 storms, including as many as 11 hurricanes and as many as six major hurricanes. The NHC says there is a 70% probability in each range of activity.
Credit unions on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts should start preparing now for possible hurricanes this season, especially with getting their crisis communications strategy in order. According to Agility Recovery, the disaster preparedness business continuity service provider for CUNA Strategics Services, next month is National Preparedness Month, and it will feature three webinars for credit unions to help them prepare.
The free webinars all begin at 2 p.m ET. Topics include:
  • Protecting Your Organization By Preparing Your Employees, Sept. 11;
  • The NEW 10 Steps to Preparedness: Lessons From the Past, Sept. 18;  and
  • Crisis Communications For Any Organization, Sept. 25.
Agility Recovery also has prepared a free Crisis Communications Planning Checklist for Credit Unions that is available to download from its website. "Disasters can happen at any time, and communications during a crisis could be the most important part of your plan," Agility said. "During an emergency, it is imperative that those within your credit union know how to communicate effectively.This includes both internal and external communications."
Use the link to download the two-page checklist, which provides recommendations for developing a communications plan, as well as what to do during the crisis and after the crisis.  The checklist can help credit unions assess their current strategy "and put into place some simple steps that will enhance your capability to communicate before, during and after the next disaster," Agility said.
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