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Southeast Corporate aids CU after burglar cuts power
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (9/21/10)--When Jacksonville, Fla.-based Florida Baptist CU lost its phone lines, security and power during a burglary, Southeast Corporate FCU went to its aid. The more than $24 million asset Florida Baptist CU was burglarized during the Labor Day holiday weekend for the first time since it was founded in 1986, said Southeast Corporate, which is based in Tallahassee. "The phone lines, security, and power were cut by the intruders," said Dottie Rice, Florida Baptist's accounting manager. "The credit union building became a 'crime scene' and we had very limited access to the building," she said. The credit union notified the corporate immediately because "we were not sure of the time frame we would be allowed back into the building or the extent of the damage to our equipment." According to Steve Wildes, Southeast member service manager, "The first thing that we assisted with for several days was emergency cash orders. This enabled the credit union to get cash into the branch quickly, while at the same time keeping the amount on hand at a bare minimum since the vault was damaged." Next, the corporate helped the credit union process automated clearing house (ACH) transactions. "Southeast assisted us in gaining APEX ACH access at an alternate location and alternate IP address in order for us to process our files," said Rice. "Our Southeast representative, Gisli Magnusson, checked on us regularly and stopped in to make sure we were okay. We were very pleased with the service and encouragement we received from everyone at Southeast Corporate," Rice added. Magnusson, who noted that "our credit unions are members of our family," said the corporate was glad no one was hurt and that the credit union "was up and running at full speed in just a day or two." The crisis brought home some definite lessons. "Through this situation, we realized how important it is to have emergency/disaster backup plans in place," Rice said. "We need to have current telephone numbers of all vendors/representatives, and to test these plans before something happens," she added, saying that the credit union's "down time was minimal based on our well-established and tested relationships with Southeast Corporate."
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