By Michael McKinley, senior manager, claims, CUNA Mutual Group
The United States experienced catastrophic natural disasters during the Fall of 2018. From Hurricane Florence that hit the Carolinas and East Coast in September, Hurricane Michael a month later hitting the Florida panhandle, and the California wildfires in November, many Americans lost their homes and are faced with starting over. As images, videos, and stories came out of the affected areas, Americans felt compelled to help, and the credit union industry was no exception.
To support recovery efforts for the many credit unions affected, CUNA Mutual Group’s disaster response teams were deployed quickly to credit unions throughout hurricane-impacted areas to provide a strategic and coordinated response. Once there, they evaluated initial assessments and delivered informed, expert decisions to guide credit unions through recovery efforts—and start the process of resuming operations. Despite the complexities, teams brought relief, trust, and clarity to a chaotic situation.
The CUNA Mutual Group claims team was laser-focused and responded with immediate resolution and security for its customers, who were reassured the team was there for them. The claims team walks customers through the entire claim process until they are fully up and running; it will be a long road ahead for many credit unions.
Despite nearly 20,000 buildings destroyed across 250,000 acres by Camp Fire, Woolsey Fire and Hill Fire combined1, there were few credit union structures affected by these fires. However, it was important to the CUNA Mutual Group Foundation to support recovery efforts in the areas, so it committed $50,000 to The National Credit Union Foundation’s CUAid relief fund, which provides additional resources and financial aid to credit unions during disaster recovery efforts. The foundation also committed $50,000 to help rebuild after the destruction caused by Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael.
How to Help
Here are some ways you can make an immediate impact, helping credit unions and the many people affected by these devastating events:
- Donate now through CUAid. Any amount helps, and 100 percent of donations received go directly to credit union disaster relief.
- Spread the word through social media. Share natural disaster relief options with others you know.
CUNA Mutual Group is committed to providing support now and in the months to come as recovery efforts move forward. It is times like these that the credit union philosophy of “people helping people” comes to life—and we are proud to serve and be a part of it.
Together we can make a difference.
Michael is responsible for leading the Property, Business Liability, Business Auto and the customer Disaster Response Team. He has more than 19 years of claim management and claims adjusting experience working with several national insurance organizations throughout the country. Contact him at Michael.McKinley@cunamutual.com.
1 Incident Information, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Dec. 2, 2018