Due to its location and tropical climate, Puerto Rico is regularly exposed to hurricanes. A week ago, forecasts indicated that Tropical Storm Fiona would pass across the southern end of Puerto Rico.
Its 92-member cooperativas (credit unions) activated their contingency plans and prepared their operations to ensure business continuity.
As Fiona slowly leaves the region, the country begins to take stock of the devastation and the recovery begins. Most cooperativas have resumed operations, albeit in a limited capacity, again playing their roles as financial first responders providing access to cash and supplies when it is most needed reminiscent of their life-saving response during Hurricane María
The national trade body for community development credit unions in the US, Inclusiv has been working around the clock to assess impact and areas of need/support.
Inclusiv is in conversations with the National Credit Union Foundation and the New York Credit Union Association to activate CUAID and provide emergency funds to employees and volunteers impacted by the natural disaster. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, these three organizations came together to send over half a million dollars in relief funds.
In May of this year, ABCUL credit unions travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico visiting coopertivas in the area. Attending as an ABCUL representative, John Haslam led the British delegation and commented on the situation. “Everyone at ABCUL passes on their support to the people of Puerto Rico,” said John. “During our visit to the country earlier in the year, the group was inspired by the community spirit the movement in Puerto Rico has and it comes as no surprise the response they’ve made in this crisis. The major role cooperativas played in the recovery from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria was truly humbling to understand, and I’ve no doubt our friends will rise to the challenge again”