FEDweek

USPS Region’s Response to Severe Weather Praised

The USPS Southern Area lived up to the “neither snow nor rain . . .” standard when two hurricanes and two other major storms hit the region in 2016, an IG report has said.

“We found the Postal Service was well prepared for the weather events: using comprehensive emergency plans; monitoring weather; providing guidance to local postal management; and restoring operations. As a result, damage to vehicles and mail was minimized,” auditors reported.

“Specifically, area and district personnel implemented emergency management preparedness plans for operations, monitored the weather on a daily basis (sometimes more frequently); provided guidance to the stations prior to the event; monitored operations before, during, and after these extreme events; and helped restore operations,” the report said.

For example, facilities moved vehicles from areas vulnerable to flooding, although the suddenness of the flooding in one area prevented moving all the vehicles on time, resulting in some damage—but even there the mail was moved in time to prevent damage. Two processing and distribution centers lost power for about two days and extreme weather also impacted some individual post offices, delaying mail.

The report noted that while the phrase “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” is commonly considered an official USPS motto, it is not—it is engraved on a postal building in New York City.