November 15th, 2012

How Credit Union Members Can Access Their Money During Emergencies

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, millions of people are left without homes, vehicles, electricity, and more. In addition, many businesses are unable to operate, including financial institutions, which leaves people in need unable to access their funds.

Although hurricanes rarely reach the Pacific Northwest, we have our fair share of disasters, including earthquakes and floods. Do you know what to do in the event of an emergency? Here are a few things to keep in mind should SMCU branches be unable to operate or if you cannot reach a branch.

CO-OP Network ATMs

Because SMCU is part of the CO-OP Network, SMCU members have access to over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout the country. This means you can use many non-SMCU ATMs free of charge to make deposits, withdrawals, and other transactions. Here is an ATM Locator Tool that can be used to find the CO-OP Network ATM nearest you, which will most likely be at a credit union or 7-Eleven.

Shared Branching

Many credit unions, including SMCU, participate in Shared Branching. This allows you to use branches of other credit unions as if they were SMCU branches. You can enter your location on this site to find the shared branches nearest you.

Online, Telephone, Text and Mobile Web Banking

If you have access to a computer, telephone, or mobile device, you can access your SMCU accounts through our Online Banking, Telephone Banking, Text Banking, or Mobile Web Banking. Through all of these services, you can check your balances, review transactions, and transfer funds. If you are enrolled in our free Bill Pay service, you can pay bills from Online Banking and Mobile Web Banking. Learn more about these services here.

Be Prepared

Finances aside, there are several ways you can be prepared for disasters:

  • Keep an emergency supply of necessary items on hand, including a first aid kit, flashlights, cash, and food and water to last your family at least 72 hours.
  • Decide how and where your family will meet if you are separated during an emergency.
  • Keep an “emergency binder” full of important documents that you can easily grab if you need to evacuate your home. This can include copies of birth certificates, social security cards, passports, investment statements, car titles and registrations, life insurance policies, immunization records, and more.
  • Know how to shut off your utilities to preserve water and prevent gas leaks and explosions.

Preparation and knowing your options are essential during emergencies. Learn more about preparing for natural disasters here.

Donate $10 to Hurricane Sandy victims by texting these relief organizations:

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