News Release 2006-73 | June 15, 2006

Agencies Issue Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina: Preparing Your Institution for a Catastrophic Event

Joint Release

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision, National Credit Union Association, Conference of State Bank Supervisors

The member agencies of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) and the Conference of State Bank Supervisors today announced the release of Lessons Learned from Hurricane Katrina: Preparing Your Institution for a Catastrophic Event. The booklet relays financial institutions' experiences and lessons learned in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina that other institutions may find helpful in considering their readiness for a catastrophic event.

Financial institutions face a wide variety of natural disasters across the United States that could have potentially devastating consequences.Following Hurricane Katrina, institutions' existing disaster recovery and business continuity plans generally worked well in enabling institutions to restore operations swiftly. However, the unprecedented destruction and aftermath of the hurricane caused major disruptions that exceeded the scope of some institutions' disaster recovery and business continuity plans. Major hardships faced by these institutions included the following:

  • Communications outages made it difficult to locate missing personnel.
  • Access to and reliable transportation into restricted areas were not always available.
  • Lack of electrical power or fuel for generators rendered computer systems inoperable.
  • Multiple facilities were destroyed or sustained significant damage.
  • Some branches and ATMs were under water for weeks.
  • Mail service was interrupted for months in some areas.

Financial institutions demonstrated great resiliency, working together to create solutions that allowed them to successfully operate under very difficult circumstances and to assist customers and communities in recovering from the hurricane.

Insured depository institutions will soon receive a hard copy of the booklet.

Media Contacts

Federal Reserve Deborah Lagomarsino (202) 452-2955
FDIC David Barr (202) 898-6992
OCC Bryan Hubbard (202) 874-5770
OTS Katie Fitzgerald (202) 906-6677
NCUA Cherie Umbel (703) 518-6330
CSBS Mary White (202) 728-5715

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