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Tinker FCU One Year After EF5 Tornado
Thursday, May 15, 2014 6:50 AM

One year after a devastating tornado leveled its branch in Moore, Okla., Tinker Federal Credit Union looks back with gratitude on all that's happened since.

TFCU reopened its Moore branch just eight short months after a tornado demolished all but the safe deposit box.  When the EF5 hit the Moore branch on May 20, 2013, it destroyed several houses and businesses, including the credit union. Following established protocol, people sought shelter in the vault, including 14 employees, eight members, and one passerby.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured because the correct procedures were followed. Those in the branch at the time were closely listening to the weather on the radio when they decided to take cover in the vault. After the storm passed, the credit union employees and managers communicated that everyone in the vault was safe, as well as all of the member information.

The tornado not only brought destruction to the community, but an outpouring of support, and the branch was reconstructed quickly for a grand reopening on Jan. 27, 2014. TFCU Senior Vice President of Marketing Matt Stratton said, “There was never any doubt that we would rebuild and be a part of Moore’s recovery, and we are so thankful for all of the support and encouragement we received from everyone who helped out along the way, beginning only moments after the tornado passed right through to opening day of the new branch.”

TFCU chose to remember the strength of the vault and the events of May 20, 2013, with the installation of a monument made from a recovered section of the safe deposit box vault where 23 people took shelter during the storm. The monument, located outside of the rebuilt branch, displays the original building dedication plaque and an etched inscription to pay tribute to the lives saved and the spirit of Oklahomans in times of need.

Tinker Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oklahoma, with more than $3 billion in assets and 290,000 members.