Setting the pace

If you want to know why Dakotas District is a national leader in scanning, talk to folks at the Brandon, SD, Post Office.

Managers and supervisors at the office, which serves a city of about 9,000 residents near Sioux Falls, continually drive home the message that every scan matters.

“I talk to my carriers every day about scanning, from the time the mail arrives until the mail is delivered,” said Brandon Postmaster Kelley Lehfeldt.

This approach is typical in Dakotas District, which often boasts a scanning rate of 99 percent or higher, leading the Postal Service’s 67 districts in the organization’s weekly scanning snapshot.

USPS has made accurate scanning a priority as part of its core strategies to deliver excellent customer service and grow revenue. Scanning allows customers to track their packages and mail, which is increasingly important in the digital era.

Mary Anderson, a Brandon resident, uses the Postal Service’s online tracking tools to follow her mail and packages as they move through the network.

“I love the scanning feature,” said Anderson, whose mailbox is located far from her house. “I know when my package is arriving, and I don’t waste a trip to the mailbox before the carrier arrives.”

Employees praise Mobile Delivery Devices, Intelligent Mail barcodes and other innovations that make it easier to scan.

“Nowadays pretty much every package has a barcode, so you know that when you grab a package you need to grab your scanner, too,” said Charlie Anderson, a Brandon rural carrier.

Dawne Bridwell, a Dakotas District operations program specialist, said the Brandon office’s focus on scanning serves as a model for others.

“Offices like Brandon are helping set the pace for the nation,” she said.

Hope is not a plan

The key to recovery is speed. The key to speed is preparedness.

September is National Preparedness Month, a time to learn how to prepare and be ready for disasters and other emergencies. This year’s theme is “Prepared, Not Scared. Be Ready for Disasters.”

Throughout the month, the Postal Service will offer reminders and tips to help employees make preparedness part of their daily lives.

To start, you should:

• Always stay informed about potential emergencies that may affect your area.

• Create an emergency supply kit (include pet supplies if necessary).

• Download a group texting app to your personal mobile device to keep in contact with family and friends during emergencies.

• Practice evacuation and shelter plans that include your pets.

• Always have enough food, water and prescription medications on hand to last for at least 72 hours.

• Learn how to turn off utilities in your home.

The USPS National Preparedness Blue page and the Department of Homeland Security’s Ready.gov site have additional tips.

News Briefs

Dorian update

Service alert. The Service Alerts section on usps.com has the latest information on Hurricane Dorian, which has affected the Bahamas and threatens Florida and other states along the Southeast coast.

Due to mandatory evacuation orders, more than 140 Post Offices have suspended service throughout the Southeast, including 83 in South Carolina. Five processing plants are also temporarily closed.

Employees should check the USPS National Emergency Hotline number for the latest information on their facility’s operating status. The toll-free number, found on the back of most employee badges, is 888 EMERGNC (888-363-7462).

Postal Bulletin. The Postal Bulletin’s Aug. 29 edition covers workplace safety, including tips on avoiding slips, trips and falls.

The latest updates to forms, policies and procedures are also included.

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