Pandemic planning presents unique challenges to credit unions unlike most natural or technical disasters and malicious acts. The impact of a pandemic is much more difficult to determine because of the difference in the scale and duration of a pandemic event. As a result of these differences, credit unions need to plan for the potential adverse effects of a pandemic event. Experts believe the most significant challenge may be the severe staffing shortage likely to result from a pandemic outbreak.
Credit union preparedness plans should include:
- A preventative plan to reduce the likelihood that operations will be significantly affected by a pandemic event;
- A documented strategy;
- A framework of facilities and procedures to continue critical operations if staff are unavailable for prolonged periods;
- A testing program to ensure the pandemic planning practices and capabilities are effective; and
- An oversight program to ensure ongoing review and updates are made to the pandemic plan.
Credit unions should review and revise their continuity plans in a timely manner to properly address the management of a pandemic event.
There are several resources and guidance available to assist in creating or updating a Pandemic Plan:
- Updated FFIEC Pandemic Preparedness Guidance March 06, 2020
- Coronavirus Updates from the Centers for Disease Control
- NCUA Letter to Credit Unions 2008-01
- Ready.gov Pandemic Preparedness from the Department of Homeland Security
- Tennessee Emergency Management Authority
- CU PolicyPro model policy 2195: Pandemic Preparedness
- CU PolicyPro model policy 2190: Disaster Contingency Planning
- NCUA Letter to Credit Unions 01-CU-21