Hurricane season is here

With the start of hurricane season June 1, the Postal Service is urging employees to verify or update their personal and emergency contact information on file with USPS.

This information is vital as it enables the organization to contact you or your loved ones when a hurricane or other natural disaster strikes.

Keep personal contact information current using a physical address — not a PO Box — and mobile telephone number. Go to the Life Changes LiteBlue page and update your address if necessary.

Emergency contacts can be updated by logging on to LiteBlue, selecting “Apps,” selecting “Change Address,” then “Emergency Contact.” Follow the prompts to complete the submission.

Here are some actions employees can take to be ready to for a disaster:

• Learn your community’s hurricane plans, including evacuation routes.

• Complete a personal preparedness plan that includes a household inventory and the location of important family documents.

• Prepare your home for hurricane-force winds or flooding.

• Store enough food and water to last at least three days. One gallon of drinking water per person per day is recommended.

• Create a personal preparedness kit and include items such as hand sanitizer and disposable masks.

• Put together a first-aid kit and make plans for pets.

• If a hurricane is expected, call the USPS National Employee Emergency Hotline at 888-363-7462 (888-EMERGNC) for work schedules or for reporting-time change information.

The National Preparedness Blue page has more steps employees can take to personally prepare for hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

Text mess

The Postal Service is reminding employees and contractors to beware of smishing and other online scams.

Smishing is when criminals pose as legitimate sources and send fraudulent text messages to manipulate victims into divulging passwords or financial account information or persuade them into downloading malicious software.

“We have detected unusual activity on your account” and “Please click this link to reset your password” are among the messages often used in smishing attacks.

The attacks are unfortunately effective. In 2021, 87.8 billion smishing attacks duped consumers out of $10 billion, according to Experian.

Government employees have also fallen victim to smishing attacks, as well as vishing and quishing attacks that use voice messages or QR codes, respectively.

To keep the USPS network secure, employees and contractors should follow these tips:

Don’t click: Do not open any link or attachment from a phone number you do not have saved in your contacts list, or from a sender you can’t verify.

Filter messages: Filtering unknown senders on mobile devices blocks notifications from unsaved phone numbers, decreasing the likelihood of falling for a smishing scam.

To filter unknown numbers on mobile devices, follow these steps:

Apple users: Go to Settings, then Messages and toggle on the “Filter Unknown Senders” option to create a new tab in your Messages app called “Unknown Senders.”

Android users: Go to Settings, then Spam Message Settings and select the “Block Unknown Senders” option.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue, LiteBlue and Monthly Awareness Campaigns pages have additional information.

Inflammation information

Postal employees can participate in an upcoming webinar on inflammation and how it affects the body.

The session, “Douse the Internal Flame: The Role of Chronic Inflammation,” will be held June 12 at noon Eastern Time.

Mounting evidence suggests that chronic inflammation plays a role in the development of cancer, diabetes, and coronary artery and Alzheimer’s diseases.

Participants will learn how inflammation can affect long-term health and how to reduce or prevent the “internal flame” with diet and lifestyle changes.

Thu Huynh, a nutritionist at Giant Food, and Coletta Meyer, manager of health engagement at GEHA, a not-for-profit provider of health plans for federal employees, will present the webinar.

Advance registration is required.

Participation is voluntary. Non-exempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Wellness team or visit the USPS Wellness LiteBlue page.