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When disaster strikes…

Categories : Cash is a contingency and fall-back solution, Cash is trust
August 31, 2017
Tags : ATM, Cash, Contingency, Crisis, US
Cash is probably the most useful tools during a natural disaster: and banks know it. After Hurricane Harvey struck, local branches announced the imminent deployment of mobile banking branches as well as waived ATM and other fees.
Communication Team / Equipo de Comunicación

When a natural disaster strikes, banks are well aware that access to hard cash is crucial. Indeed, as Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas, commercial banks announced that they will temporarily remove any ATM fees to make access to cash easier for victims of the storm. Furthermore, many banks went as far as waiving all other fees, including late mortgage payments, as a result of the flooding. And finally, the Federal Reserve encouraged local branches to keep the cash and reuse it instead of sending currency back to the Fed’s Houston branch.

Chief financial analyst at, Greg McBride, stated that these measures are typically carried out in areas affected by natural disasters because cash is the only payment tool that can secure people’s “food, medical supplies and other necessities” when the power is out.

The former Dallas Federal Reserve Preseident Richard Fisher explained that the Dallas vault is prepared to supply Harvey whatever cash demands are needed, which are expected to increase as the labour day holiday approaches. “It’s about getting that lifeblood of cash into the economy, so you can fill ATMs and people can get to them so they can have it,”

Mobile bank branches are expected to be set up to provide essential services to local residents including processing and receiving insurance checks to repair damaged homes.

Similarly, after the series of earthquakes that struck Italy, an easy-to-transport and highly efficient mobile cash centre was designed to respond to basic banking needs of disaster-struck regions.