Taking notes

While attending a recent Kentucky-West Virginia District career conference, Cristal Blank entered her name to win a “shadow day” with a district leader.

Luck was on the Postal Service employee’s side: She later received a call from Mark Reed, acting manager of employee development, letting her know she was chosen to follow him for a day in Union, KY.

“I was excited,” said Blank, a lead retail associate in Independence, KY. “Mark has been wonderful from the moment he contacted me. He ensured that the best day was chosen by coordinating with my manager.”

He also told her what to expect and informed her of any plan changes.

Reed explained the “why” of how things work and was a solicitous guide, continuously stopping to ask if she had any questions, she said.

“He even arranged a tour of the plant, which was amazing. I had never gotten to see our operation up close.”

Blank met several people during her shadow day and documented the experience.

“I kept a notebook and ended up with pages of information. I appreciate how he expanded my knowledge of postal activities and procedures.”

Reed was similarly impressed. “Cristal was very attentive and asked excellent questions,” he said. “She has a real interest in the HR department for a future career path.”

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Ready — or not?

September is National Preparedness Month, and the Postal Service is encouraging employees to take time to prepare for the unexpected.

“Disaster professionals suggest scheduling time on your calendar to create an emergency plan,” said USPS Corporate Affairs Vice President Judy de Torok, who oversees the organization’s continuity and preparedness team.

Here are some tips for planning and preparing for a disaster:

Have a family communication plan. Make sure your family knows whom to call and when.

Have supplies. Create and rotate a stockpile of water, nonperishable food and other necessities.

Have an evacuation plan. Conduct an evacuation drill with your family.

Have a plan for sheltering in place. Practice staying put with your family.

Be in the know. Sign up to receive local emergency alerts and warnings by email and text.

Know the threats in your area. Are wildfires or tornadoes a possibility? Are you in a place that could get hit by a hurricane or that is prone to floods?

“Take photos or make copies of your most important documents — driver’s license, passport, etc. Locate others, such as wills or powers of attorney, make copies and put them in a fireproof safe,” said de Torok. “I encourage everyone to schedule time today to ensure their safety and the safety of their loved ones for possible unforeseen events.”

The USPS National Preparedness Blue page has more information.