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Postal Pointers: Despite harsh weather, mail must get through

August 15, 2012
By DEBRA MITCHELL , Lehigh Acres Citizen

It seems that this spring and summer, the United States has seen more than its fair share of wicked weatherfrom the wildfires in at least five Western area states to the severe thunderstorms and winds that hit at least eight states and the District of Columbia.

U.S. Postal Service customersand employeeswere affected by these weather-related situations.

Contrary to popular belief, the United States Postal Service has no official motto. However, a number of postal buildings contain inscriptions, the most familiar of which appears in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The inscription reads, "Neither snow, nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

In the recent Eastern Seaboard Coast storm, well over one million businesses and residents either lost their homes or were without powerin some cases, for nearly a week. Damage was extensive.

The Postal Service was also affected, with more than 400 post offices and other facilities without power during the worst of the storm.

Thanks to the dedication of employees, customers continued to get their mail and have access to postal services.

Processing facilities were up and running. Generators were provided to offices that lost power and retail services were offered wherever possible. Deliveries continued wherever it was safe.

The response of postal employees was all the more admirable considering many also had no power themselves, and had experienced damage to their own homes.

Similar sentiments were echoed throughout areas affected by the wildfires, which have burned more than a half-million acres and destroyed more than 700 homes.

Postal employees quickly got back on their routes as soon as it was safe, and relocated retail services and PO boxes so residents could send and receive mail.

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Mr. Zip's tip

Each year, postal employees around the country risk their own safety to save the lives of the customers they serve. In 2011, the Postal Service recognized 331 employee heroes.

Debra Mitchell is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.



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