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Thursday, 22 November 2007 00:44

How Banks Responded To Tornadoes

Written by  Milan A. Paddock

Banks are required to have a business continuity plan by federal regulations. In the past, these plans were developed to cover the main office and the computer systems. In large cities, there is usually another branch nearby. But in rural America, it may be many miles between branches. On Sunday, May 4, 2003, several tornadoes struck two such towns in Southwestern Missouri. Branch banks in Pierce City and Stockton suffered major damage. Just 17 days after the tornadoes struck, I visited both towns to determine how well the banks’ disaster plans worked. Pierce City, Mo. The First State Bank of Purdy is a privately owned bank with five locations. The main office is in Monett, Mo., with other offices in the towns of Purdy, Pierce City, Cassville, and a facility in a Wal-Mart store. I met with Thom Conus, senior vice president and security officer to discuss the tornado that struck their Pierce