Quiet heroism

Employees work at the Napa, CA, Post Office

The Atlantic newsmagazine has praised the Postal Service’s ability to keep mail moving in the wake of natural disasters.

The Quiet Heroism of Mail Delivery,” a 1,200-word report published Feb. 1, examines the organization’s “sophisticated contingency plans” for hurricanes, wildfires and other crises.

Across the nation, USPS has more than 285 emergency management teams devoted to preparedness and response and recovery efforts to ensure the safety of employees and operational continuity.

Pat Mendonca, senior director of the Office of the Postmaster General, tells The Atlantic that the teams are trained annually using a framework known as the “three p’s”: people, property and product.

“After a weather-necessitated service outage, the agency’s top priority is ensuring that employees are safe, after which it evaluates the health of infrastructure, such as the roads that mail carriers drive on. Finally, it decides when and how to reopen operations,” the publication reports.

The article highlights the Postal Service’s work in the aftermath of disasters like the 2017 wildfires in Northern California and the hurricanes that struck the Caribbean that year, as well as the polar vortex that caused wind chills to dip more than 45 degrees below zero in the Midwest last week.

Mike Swigart, the Postal Service’s national preparedness director, tells The Atlantic that the resumption of mail delivery is often a meaningful sight for customers trying to rebuild after a disaster.

“When they see that carrier back out on the street, that’s the first sign to them that life is starting to return to normal,” Swigart says.

True Blue

Smiling postal worker holds package at Post Office retail counter

USPS is highlighting employees who help their colleagues deliver excellent service.

Inside Blue, a new communications initiative, features images and quotes from employees discussing where they work and how they contribute to their teams.

“I work with a team of clerks,” Kieu Le, a Westminster, CA, retail associate, says in one post. “The key to our office success is engagement. [We] work together and support each other.”

The employee spotlights will be delivered each weekday through multiple communication channels, including Postal Vision video monitors inside USPS facilities and the Lead to Win newsletter.

The messages will also be posted on the Inside Blue LiteBlue page.

Inside Blue, the second of four #PostalProud initiatives slated for this fiscal year, is part of the organization’s broader efforts to empower and engage employees and deliver world-class customer experiences, two core strategies.

The Peek into Peak initiative was launched during fiscal 2019’s first quarter to highlight employees’ holiday season contributions.

Sharing the love

Highlights from the recent Hearts Blossoms stamp dedication ceremony are featured in a new Postal Service video.

“While these stamps are perfect for Valentine’s Day, they can be used year-round because love never goes out of season,” Network Operations Vice President Robert Cintron says during the event, which was held in San Juan, PR.

Hearts Blossoms, this year’s Love stamp, features the word “Love” in cursive script below 12 red, pink, purple and orange hearts.

“We each have a right to love each other, our family, our island, our flag, our nation,” Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, a graphic novelist, says during the ceremony. “Love is what moves us, binds us all together.”

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 97.76 percent during the week ending Feb. 1, up from one week earlier.

Western (98.04 percent) led the areas, while Dakotas (99.05 percent) topped the districts.

To see the latest results, go to the Informed Visibility site and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

Two more weeks. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) deadline has been extended to Friday, Feb. 22.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the campaign, is giving federal workers affected by the recent government shutdown more time to contribute. This marks the second extension for the CFC, which was slated to conclude this week.

Postal Service employees can submit a paper pledge form to a CFC keyworker or go to the CFC online giving portal to pledge their money or time to more than 8,000 member charities.

The CFC Blue and LiteBlue pages have more information on the campaign, including employee and retiree pledge forms.

Board meeting. The USPS Board of Governors’ temporary emergency committee (TEC) will meet Friday, Feb. 8, in Columbus, OH.

Without a legally required quorum, the board is conducting functions necessary for continuity of operations through the TEC, which the board created in 2014.

Last week’s news release has more information.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.