AltaOne Earthquake Press Release
Ridgecrest, CA: The subjects of Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity could not have been more prevalent than it was during the two large earthquakes, 6.4 and 7.1, respectively that occurred over the July 4th holiday weekend for AltaOne Federal Credit Union.
The earthquakes occurred while credit union employees were enjoying well deserved time with their families within and outside of the Ridgecrest area. As soon as the magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit, AltaOne Federal Credit Union's advance team comprised of CEO Pam Easley, SVP Denise Mattice, Director of IT Amer Hameed, Mike Dawson IT Infrastructure, Director of Office of the President Steve Linman, Security Manager Brandi Harrell, Facilities Coordinator Nick Whisnant, Communications Director Jon Urbano along with Senior Manager for Loss Mitigation Brian Bennette went into action to ensure that key systems and facilities were sound, and that communications to the community and credit union employees were prepared and disseminated swiftly.
As the advance team focused on the aftermath of the 6.4 earthquake, a second and more powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit on Friday, July 5th in the evening hours. The same team immediately communicated putting in place the business continuity and disaster recovery protocols key to the success of the credit union's survival of the quake. "We truly had heroes during this time!” exclaimed CEO Pam Easley, “We accounted for our employees quickly, despite the holiday, identifying those who had special needs or were hardest hit." she continued.
CEO Pam Easley remarked that "our first priorities were to ensure the safety of our employees and their families, while we followed our disaster plans to safeguard systems, the buildings and other assets." "The credit union's facilities teams inspected the buildings while the credit union's IT teams tested systems and networks for soundness to ensure that operations could continue the next business day which was the very next day - Saturday."
SVP Denise Mattice congratulated "branch operations, facilities, loss mitigation and information technology teams" for offering to come into the credit union on such short notice. She continued, "we want to especially recognize Mike Dawson who came into the credit union from his holiday to ensure systems were operational, along with IT Director Amer Hameed's leadership" to ensure that the credit union could open its doors and process normal transactions the very next morning after the 7.1 earthquake.” “Like our local community, the credit union industry is a very close-knit, caring team. We've had an outpouring of support from our credit union family and our League", said Mattice.
Credit union members came to the branch the very next morning where the branch opened from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. after volunteer staff came in to clean up minor breakage and debris, while ensuring the branch was safe to conduct business. Steve Linman, Director for the Office of the President, remarked that "Our facilities teams worked with building inspectors and structural engineers as a safeguard to certify that the corporate office was safe." "We worked as teams and were pleased with the outcomes that we could continue to serve our members' needs," Linman continued.
"Community is at the heart of AltaOne's more than 70-year legacy within the Ridgecrest and China Lake areas. As we saw more than 70 years ago, our community continues to work together during a very difficult time." "We know that the coming weeks will reveal more about the needs of our members and our community. The AltaOne team looks forward to working with those needs, demonstrating how AltaOne cares. To meet the needs of our neighbors and the communities that have supported us for so long is at the core of our mission as a key community partner, and one we take very seriously," Easley reflected.