Hurricane Dorian

USPS is restoring service in areas affected by Hurricane Dorian, which brought heavy rain, tornadoes and serious flooding to the Southeast last week.

The long-running storm developed in late August and left a wide path of destruction, including parts of the Bahamas and North Carolina and South Carolina.

After temporarily suspending service in areas affected by the storm, USPS is now working to resume deliveries, retail services and other operations.

“The Postal Service’s top priority during weather emergencies is the safety of our employees,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. “Now that the storm has passed, we are focused on the recovery efforts, including taking care of our employees and customers and resuming service. I thank our employees for the dedication they have demonstrated throughout this challenging time.”

Employees who work in areas affected by Hurricane Dorian should 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 affected employees.

Customers who have questions about mail delivery should check the USPS Service Alerts section of usps.com for updates. The Postal Service is also posting updates on social media and distributing news releases with information for customers.

Patriot Day

U.S. flag flying at half-staff

President Trump has ordered flags flown at half-staff Wednesday, Sept. 11, to honor victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

USPS facilities are required to fly the U.S. flag at half-staff this day, which is also known as Patriot Day.

To fly the flag at half-staff, hoist the flag to the peak for an instant and then lower it to the half-staff position.

The flag should be raised to the peak again before it’s lowered for the day.

For additional information, refer to the Postal Service’s Administrative Support Manual, which explains the organization’s guidelines on U.S. flag display and maintenance.

Postal pets

A new video shows how an animal rescue organization relies on USPS to serve its customers.

Elysa’s Story features Elysa Hellermann, who helps run the Park City, UT-based organization.

“USPS has been a great asset to doing what we do,” she says.

The video shows Hellermann printing a shipping label, preparing a package and taking it to the local Post Office, where she’s served by Retail Associate Carlos Vilchez.

She praises him for helping her to “find the most cost-effective way to get my stuff out. Because every dollar really does count.”

The video is part of a new #PostalProud campaign that features employees and customers expressing appreciation for USPS and for each other.

The campaign also includes Beyond the Blue, an initiative that features employees throughout the organization answering the question, “Who is your customer and how do you serve them?”

In addition to being available on the Link site, you can watch the video on the #PostalProud Blue and LiteBlue pages, which have previous videos about USPS employees and their contributions.

Information disclosures

The Postal Service wants you to understand the federal law that governs the disclosure of customers’ address information.

Postmasters frequently receive requests for change of address and PO Box holder information.

The Privacy Act of 1974 allows federal agencies to disclose information protected under the law without the written consent of the individual in limited circumstances only, such as an established routine use or a court order to release the information to a third party.

The Postal Service has established Privacy Act routine uses for these instances.

Through these routine uses, this change of address and PO Box holder information can be disclosed in response to specific written requests from process servers when needed for the service of legal documents, and to federal, state and local government and law enforcement agencies for official purposes or in response to court orders.

Process server and government agency requests for address information must be in writing and contain all required information in the standard formats found in Handbook AS-353, Guide to Privacy, the Freedom of Information Act, and Records Management, Exhibits 5-2b and c.

Requests lacking any of the required information or a proper signature must be returned to the requester specifying the deficiency. Additionally, the address of an individual who files — with the Postmaster — a copy of a protective court order cannot be disclosed unless it meets exemptions under the law.

For more information, refer to Handbook AS-353, Section 5-2. You can email questions to the Postal Service’s Freedom of Information Act offices at FOIA12@usps.com or FOIAPAField@usps.com.