Hot stuff

Indio, CA Letter Carrier Adrian Hernandez stays cool during recent hot temperatures.

Anyone who thinks heat isn’t as bad as humidity probably hasn’t delivered mail in Indio, CA.

Temperatures in this desert community range between 104 and 120 degrees from late May through September. The hottest parts of the day are normally noon-4 p.m. when most letter and rural carriers are out delivering mail.

Cloud cover and tree shade can be rare, so Indio, CA, Postmaster Vonda Hostetler said employees are routinely instructed on how to avoid heat stress.

“We have a great safety captain who checks with carriers to make sure they have water, sunscreen and hats,” Hostetler said. “We hold regular stand-up talks about heat safety.”

Customers also watch out for carriers and sometimes leave water for them.

“I try to stay hydrated and use a lot of sunblock and park the vehicle in the shade while I’m out,” Indio, Letter Carrier Adrian Hernandez said. “If I feel overheated I take a break in the shade and drink lots of water.”