“Key” hurricane reminder

| 27/08/2009

(CNS): The Postal Service is reminding customers of two easy tasks to help ease their minds before, during and after any storm: One, collect your mail during the alert phase of a hurricane; two, know where your post-office box keys are at all times. Postmaster General Sheena Glasgow said that everyone’s hurricane checklist should include collecting mail at the early stages of an approaching storm, preferably during the alert phase. When the second phase – called a watch – has been announced, Postal Service staff begins retrieving mail from individual post-office boxes and bundling it.

“This is when the window of opportunity for picking up your mail gets smaller,” Glasgow said.

But while Postal Services staff has some discretion in deciding when to begin pulling mail from individual boxes, it has no say in deciding when government offices are advised to close. “For the Postal Service staff, our plans call for every piece of mail to be secure,” Glasgow said. “So once government announces that its offices are closing, we begin putting mail in heavy-duty plastic bags for safe storage. These bags are taped and placed in large, covered plastic tubs, and we seal the covers to provide additional security. Then, as much as space allows, we store the tubs off the floor.”

Because there are usually a few last-minute tasksto check off the list when a hurricane is approaching, PS staff helps customers to remember mail collection by putting out announcements through the media.

“We strongly advise customers to heed these announcements because after a storm, it naturally takes some time to return mail to the individual post boxes. And since life today doesn’t stop for storms, the timely delivery of your mail is even more important,” Glasgow said.

The Postal Service notes that it only takes one hurricane heading our way for people to start panicking and forgetting important tasks. “You have no idea how many people had to replace their post office keys after Hurricane Ivan in 2004. There is a $30 charge to change a lock,” reminded


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