A Department of Treasury agency that regulates and oversees America’s banks is ordering survival kits for its employees.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has asked suppliers for bids on the survival kits.
A solicitation request makes it clear that the agency wants each of its employees to be able to survive  during an emergency without electricity or access to food and water. The document says that the agency is willing to spend up to $200,000 for the kits, although it’s unclear how many employees that will equip or how many kits it will buy. The agency has about 3,400 employees. If each employee is to receive a kit, each kit would need to cost around $57.
The OCC regulates and supervises national banks.
A list of the requested items in the kits is an eye-opener. The requested gear includes:
- An Air-Aid emergency mask to protect from diseases.
- 50 water purification tablets with a minimum shelf life of five years.
- A 52” x 84” reusable solar blanket.
- A dust mask.
- A 3-pack of 8.5 oz. water bottles with a minimum shelf life of five years.
- A 2400-calorie food bar with a minimum life of five years.
- A whistle with a lanyard.
- A one-size-fits-all poncho with a hood.
- One pair of latex gloves.
- A rechargeable lantern with a built-in AM/FM radio.
- A 12-hour light stick.
- A 33-piece personal first-aid  kit with a carry anywhere case.
All of the items must fit within a fanny pack or backpack.
The mission of the OCC is to “ensure that national banks and federal savings associations operate in a safe and sound manner, provide fair access to financial services, treat customers fairly, and comply with applicable laws and regulations.”
“Headquartered in Washington, D.C.,” the agency’s website states, “the OCC has four district offices plus an office in London to supervise the international activities of national banks. The OCC’s nationwide staff of bank examiners conducts on-site reviews of national banks and federal savings associations and provides sustained supervision of these institutions’ operations.
“Examiners analyze loan and investment portfolios, funds management, capital, earnings, liquidity, sensitivity to market risk for all national banks and federal thrifts, and compliance with consumer banking laws for national banks and thrifts with less than $10 billion in assets. They review internal controls, internal and external audit, and compliance with law. They also evaluate management’s ability to identify and control risk.”
News reports that indicate the office is ordering survival kits for bank employees are inaccurate: the kits are apparently only for the comptroller’s employees.
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