CLARK, N.J.-Damage to Aspire FCU here from Superstorm Sandy was minimal, but there are plenty of changes to be made now that the recovery phase has begun.

Among those changes, said President/CEO Tom O'Shea, will be moving more services to the cloud, which it plans to begin early next year.

One other project that will need to quickly be addressed is finding a new back-up site.

"We have a disaster recovery site at one of our branches near JFK (airport)," said O'Shea. "That's an excellent location, but the problem is that we couldn't get to it. Bridges were closed, roads closed, et cetera. So now we're completely thinking about how we manage our back-up; where's our site and how far or close does it need to be? We'd heard a rule of thumb that your disaster recovery site should be 60 miles from your current location. That would've been completely useless to us."

Aspire also worked to make sure employees could take care of themselves at the same time that they took care of members. Many parents brought their children to the office, where they watched movies and did other activities, and spouses of employees were offered space at the credit union if home offices were unusable or they were not able to get to their office. O'Shea said that by taking care of employees, staff was then able to be less stressed and better serve members.

In the end, O'Shea said that the fact that the CU didn't lose power "was probably 99% of the battle." But he was quick to add that good preparation and remote services were key to getting the CU up and running as quickly as possible. "The way we're configured, our main servers are remotely configured …even when we shut down our services locally, member service continued."

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