Hurricane Irma

Man boards up home in rain

The Postal Service is responding to Hurricane Irma, the massive storm that is expected to move into Georgia Sept. 11 after battering Florida and the Caribbean islands.

In Gulf Atlantic District, which includes portions of northern Florida and southern Georgia, USPS is advising customers that normal service operations will be interrupted due to unsafe conditions such as high winds, flooding or impassable roads.

Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys Sept. 10 and then pounded Miami, in South Florida District, before moving up the coast into Suncoast District. The storm made its second landfall in Naples, FL, and overnight it moved into the Tampa area.

In the Caribbean, where Irma struck last week, USPS is in recovery mode.

“The Postal Service’s primary concern is the safety of our employees, customers and suppliers,” said PMG Megan J. Brennan. “We stand with everyone who has suffered losses, and we are doing everything possible to quickly restore service and assist with the recovery efforts.”

Irma arrived on the heels of Harvey, which caused massive flooding and disrupted service in Texas and Louisiana in late August and early September.

USPS is advising employees affected by Irma to call the USPS national emergency hotline at 888-363-7462 to report their condition and check for changes in their scheduled work reporting status.

The Postal Employees’ Relief Fund and Employee Assistance Program are available to help employees who are affected by natural disasters and other emergencies.

Customers who have questions about mail delivery should check the USPS Service Alerts site. The Postal Service’s news release also has information.

‘We’re a family’

USPS employees in group hug

The woman’s hands trembled as she approached the USPS booth.

It was a Tuesday afternoon, just days after an Army rescue boat pulled the woman and her sister out of their flooded home.

The Postal Service employees at the booth inside the NRG Center, Houston’s largest shelter, had been assisting people like this for days. Mostly, the employees helped the storm victims complete change-of-address forms, although they also directed them to Post Offices offering pick-up mail service.

But it soon became apparent this case was unique.

Through tears, the woman introduced herself and explained she’s a North Houston mail processing clerk and a 45-year USPS veteran.

The postal employees realized they weren’t helping a customer. They were helping one of their own.

“We lost everything. There is so much standing water,” the woman said. “We just need all the help we can get because we don’t know what to do.”

Throughout the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, many USPS employees have worked to restore service while dealing with their own storm-related hardships.

A variety of resources are available to help these employees, including the Postal Employees’ Relief Fund and Employee Assistance Program.

“We’re a family, and we take care of each other,” said San Antonio Customer Services Supervisor Juan Loyola, who helped the North Houston clerk and many customers at Houston area shelters last week.

By the time the clerk’s visit to the USPS booth was complete, she was enveloped in a group hug by Loyola and the other postal employees.

“I feel very lost, and I’ve been so concerned,” she said. “It means a lot.”

Seeking perfection

Perfect Package

USPS has introduced an online tool to ensure customers receive excellent service when they send and receive packages.

The Perfect Package Experience (PPE) dashboard aims to help the Postal Service track package deliveries and better understand customers’ perspectives.

The goal is to ensure deliveries are made by the expected date, at the right location and with complete tracking visibility to keep customers informed.

“The Perfect Package Experience highlights what is important to our customers and enables the Postal Service to strive to create a perfect, frictionless package delivery experience each and every time,” said Chief Operating Officer Dave Williams.

The internal dashboard uses four evaluation factors: service date, scan location, customer inquiry and visibility.

The tracking information will be used to enforce timely and accurate scanning, increase brand loyalty and reduce costs.

To help make this tool a success, USPS is encouraging employees to handle packages with care, deliver packages at the correct location and on the expected date, complete scans accurately and efficiently and treat customers with courtesy.

The PPE dashboard and instructional videos are available through the Informed Visibility site. Employees can request access through eAccess.

Need to know

Cancer shirt

Shirt tale. Employees can order a USPS-approved shirt to help promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

The shirt meets this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month guidelines, which the USPS Ethics Office developed with input from a team of representatives from multiple Postal Service departments. The guidelines are now available on the office’s Blue page.

The shirt, which features the USPS logo and a breast cancer awareness ribbon, is available in several sizes and two colors: black and pink.

From Sept. 11-17, employees can order the shirt from a special site.

If you have questions, send an email to Ethics.Help@usps.gov.

Snowy stamps. The Postal Service will release its Snowy Day stamps Oct. 4.

The stamps, which USPS announced last year, showcase four images based on Ezra Jack Keats’ beloved children’s story, “The Snowy Day.”

The dedication ceremony will be held at the Brooklyn Public Library’s central library. This week’s news release has more information.

Flag reminder. Postal Service facilities are required to fly the flag at half-staff Sept. 11, when the nation pauses to remember the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

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