Get involved in your community's preparedness

posted by Amanda Holmgaard on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 in SHAZAM Blog

September is National Preparedness Month, the perfect time to consider how your institution can play an important role in your community’s preparedness. When disaster strikes and the community comes together to recover, your institution is critical to ensuring accountholders have access to the funds they need.

Use the following tips to help prepare your institution and accountholders before disaster happens.

Encourage accountholders to store important documents.
Accountholders who have copies of important documents will have greater peace of mind. Proof of identity, property deeds, insurance policies, investment account information and copies of tax returns should be stored in a safe place such as a safe deposit box or home safe.

Review your business continuity plan.
A business continuity plan documents how your institution will respond to and recover from business disruptions, providing continued support to your accountholders. The plan should be clear and concise with the focus on employee communication and eliminating single points of failure.

Exercise your business continuity plan.
Test your plan to establish staff roles and responsibilities and identify weaknesses. Start by conducting a tabletop exercise with internal stakeholders, and gradually increase the complexity by including utility companies, key vendors, first responders and other community members. Follow each exercise with an overview of lessons learned and develop an action plan to address any identified weaknesses.

Use weather forecasting tools.
Monitor forecasts for tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards or other natural disasters. Take action to increase cash supplies at branches and ATMs in areas most likely to be impacted.

A disaster can be an opportunity for your institution to provide great service by facilitating access to funds and being flexible in helping those affected. Financial institutions that weather the storm and go the extra distance will be rewarded with loyalty from their accountholders long after things return to normal.

For more information on National Preparedness Month and tips for your institution, visit


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