The Postal Inspection Service is playing a crucial role in the efforts to restore mail and package delivery after Hurricane Harvey.
Inspectors are assessing Post Offices and other facilities for damage, checking delivery routes to make sure they’re accessible, and protecting property from being stolen.
“We’re here to help minimize the risks to our employees while helping assess and safeguard Postal Service assets,” said Gerome Provost, a Houston inspector.
About 90 inspectors have handled Harvey-related duties in the storm’s aftermath, including several from outside the Houston area who came to help.
It’s a full-time job — and then some. The inspectors gather at an operations center in Houston each morning to receive assignments, including morning and afternoon shifts.
“A lot of our people have been doing 13-, 14-hour days. We’re just trying to get the job done while keeping people safe,” said Miguel Montalvo, a Houston-based Inspection Service team leader.
Silvia Torres, also a Houston inspector, said it’s been heart-wrenching to see so many postal colleagues affected by the storm.
“We know them personally,” she said.
Southern Area VP Shaun Mossman said he appreciates the focus on safety.
“Hurricane Harvey was a powerful reminder that the Postal Service is a family,” said Mossman. “It’s been very encouraging to see employees throughout Houston District, and the entire Gulf Coast region, pitch in to help each other out. I’m proud that our employees are focusing on doing their jobs safely, which is the most important thing. We’re all in this together.”