Tinker Federal Credit Union on Disaster Preparedness

This is Jan Davis, and I am the Branch Manager of the Moore office for Tinker Federal Credit Union and May 20th should have been probably the scariest day of my life. Luckily, we had practiced, and a plan in place that allowed us to be very prepared for what innately happened that day. We lost the entire branch, there was nothing standing when we came out of the vault, but I can tell you, that through the whole ordeal, I had absolute faith that the vault was going to hold. From a manager perspective, I would say, that the best thing you can do is to have a thorough plan. My employees certainly have taken shelter
in that vault many times and I would tell you that initially, many of them were like, “Oh, its just another drill.” “We’re in the vault, nothings gonna happen, its all gonna be OK.” And I think for some of them, it’s quite a shock as to what happened. We did have chards of glass and debris flying under the door. The debris, whenever it fell, it fell in front of our door so we were trapped in the vault. We didn’t know long we would be in there but fortunately we had a police officer there with us and he was able to get his voice out the crack enough to say, “We’re alive and we need help!” [ whimpering ] Once they were able to dig us out of there and we came out, it was complete devistation around us, every building was leveled, everything around us was just… it was gone. It was very surreal. If something were like this to happen and you werent prepared for it, I think chaos could ensue. I think anxiety would be much higher. Most of the people in the vault if they were scared or upset or concerned about what was happening, you could not tell that because for the most part, everyone was calm and trying to pay attention to what they were doing and trying to react appropriately. We do have a corporate wide disaster plan at Tinker Federal Credit Union, The plan involves IT, it involves Facilities, it involves Communications as well, and we were able to start communicating with members right away the day of the tornado. I did have the opportunity to work very closely with FEMA, that has enabled us to better formulate our disaster recovery plan and enabled us to account for those when we look at planning for if something does occur. Tinker Federal Credit Union is such a prepared entity, and we take such good care to make sure that we all are protected, I do think we had a great piece of mind, that if we had not been prepared people would not have had. We’ve been disaster planning for as long as I’ve been working here at the credit union and we do a plan every year and we update it and we make changes.
We plan, plan, plan. But this was an actual real world test, and we are seeing how things can go much more smoothly if you have planned it, and not just planned it, put practiced it.

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