Monday, September 27, 2010

Preparing for Emergencies at Work and at Home

September is National Preparedness Month. It’s a reminder to take time to understand what you need to know about the emergency preparedness plan where you work.

USPS continuity planning and preparedness plans take into account all contingencies, including man-made and natural disasters. In South Florida, under the leadership of Acting District Manager Jeff Becker, the District Emergency Management Team (EMT) includes senior postal officials and Postal Inspectors. The EMT’s mission is to ensure your safety and well being as the Postal Service moves to restore operations and service following any emergency --- including a tropical storm or a hurricane.

During an emergency such as a tropical storm or a hurricane, the EMT utilizes the Postal Alert Notification System (PANS), a web-based and wireless communications mechanism, to coordinate tasks and record actions taken before, during, and after a weather event. The USPS National Emergency Hot Line at 888-363-7462 keeps employees up to date on conditions at the facilities where they work. Deaf/hard-of-hearing employees who are seeking workplace information should call the Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339 or the Florida Relay Service at 800-955-8771.

Only in case of a natural disaster requiring you to leave your home, city, or state --- report your location, physical condition, and contact information to the USPS Emergency Notification Line at 866-666-5349. Deaf/hard-of-hearing employees should call Florida or Federal Relay Services for assistance in reporting this information.

The methods communities use to get the public’s attention during an emergency may vary. Typically, the methods include emergency radio and TV channel broadcasts. Employees also may hear a special siren, receive a telephone call, or be advised by emergency workers going door-to-door. Employees who live and work in different communities should become familiar with the types of natural or man-made disasters most likely to occur and how they will be notified during emergencies.

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