Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Isaac Makes Waves in Loxahatchee

Due to Tropical Storm Isaac, the Loxahatchee Post Office at 14611 Southern Blvd. has two feet of water in its customer parking lot.

Effective Tuesday, August 28, Loxahatchee customers are picking up their Post Office Box mail at the Palms West Post Office at 10299 Southern Blvd.  This Post Office is located in the Village Shopping Center in Royal Palm Beach.  PO Box mail may be picked up at this temporary location between 9 am and 5 pm.

Letter carriers are reporting to the Palms West Post Office and are delivering their regular routes from that location.  

Customers are encouraged to conduct their transactions at the Palms West Post Office while the water recedes in the Loxahatchee Post Office parking lot.  The Loxahatchee Post Office could be closed for several days due to flooding.

The USPS apologizes for the inconvenience to its customers.  As a reminder, the Postal Service website — — is an online Post Office at your fingertips, and it is open for business 24/7.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

District Keeps Watchful Eye on Isaac

The South Florida District Emergency Management Team continues to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac.  National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisories indicate that Isaac will impact South Florida, especially the Keys.  While we cannot control Mother Nature, we can prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes --- and now is the time to review and finalize your plans.

Under the leadership of District Manager Jeffrey Becker, the EMT includes senior postal officials and Postal Inspectors.  Just as you have an Emergency Action Plan to protect your family and secure your property, the EMT has a multitude of tasks assigned in the Integrated Emergency Management Plan (IEMP) and its Hurricane Annex which outlines specific preparedness, response, and recovery actions as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).  The mission of the EMT is to ensure your safety and well being as the Postal Service restores operations and service as quickly as possible following a tropical storm or a hurricane.

As with other federal agencies, the Postal Service utilizes an Incident Command System, a structure that defines the roles and responsibilities of individual EMT members. Roles range from overseeing the installation of hurricane shutters to recording employee emergency hotline messaging to restoring operations and service.

During an emergency, such as a tropical storm or a hurricane, the EMT relies on 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.  

Throughout the season, the EMT monitors NHC advisories 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Based on these advisories, the team communicates through meetings and teleconferences to discuss weather conditions and to make operational decisions.  This information is then messaged to all employees through the National Employee Emergency Hotline, 1-888-363-7462.  

South Florida media outlets will advise our employees to call this number for the latest information on reporting schedules and facility status.  Stay tuned and be safe.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

School's Open --- Drive Defensively

     Who is a defensive driver?
     One who commits no driving errors himself and makes allowances for the lack of skill or improper driving practices of the other person. 
     A person who adjusts his own driving to compensate for unusual weather, and road and traffic conditions and is not tricked into an accident by the unsafe actions of pedestrians and other drivers.
     An individual who is alert to accident-inducing situations, he or she recognizes the need for preventive action in advance and takes the necessary precaution to prevent the accident. 
     Defensive drivers know when it is necessary to slow down, stop, or yield the right-of-way to avoid an accident.
     School bells have once again summoned millions of sleepy-eyed youngsters to their morning classes. For postal drivers, this means more possibilities of unwary young pedestrians wandering into roadways or darting from between cars or hidden places. This is a true test of anyone’s defensive driving skills!
     And while drivers should be on guard during the hours children normally travel to and from school, they should be just as cautious at other times as well.
     In spite of all the school training children receive, and in spite of parental instruction and admonition, children do play and run in the street. More dangerous, perhaps, are those who merely play near the street, leaping out suddenly after a ball or chasing a dog.
     We are all familiar with the necessity for care at or near schools or playgrounds, but there are several precautions we should take while driving delivery routes through residential areas or anywhere else. Here are some situations that you should be aware of:
     1. Whenever you see a ball rolling in the street, you are likely to see a child following it. Slow down and be prepared to stop quickly.
     2. When the ice cream vendor hits the neighborhood, watch for children coming from all directions.
     3. Pay attention to the lone child walking along the street. A single youngster is much more likely to be overlooked than several together.
     4. Children and others on roller skates, skateboards, or roller blades can roll into the street. They require a driver’s extreme alertness. 
     5. Bicyclists, especially young or novice riders, should be watched carefully and provided plenty of room.
     6. Never back up to redeliver a mixed box. Get out of the vehicle and walk back if you can do so safely.
     7. Never give mail to children from the vehicle. If children approach the vehicle, get out of the vehicle and ask them to move away. Double check around the entire vehicle before proceeding.
     Be alert so that children don’t get hurt.  And while we’re on the subject, this is a good time to talk about pedestrians in general. Here’s a fact every driver and pedestrian should know.  While less than three out of every 100 accidents involve a pedestrian, approximately three out of every ten persons killed in traffic accidents each year are pedestrians.  In other words, the severity ratio of these accidents is 10 times the frequency ratio. This emphasizes the pedestrian’s disadvantage when matched against a moving mass of steel.
     Let’s protect our most precious commodity --- our children --- and keep a lookout for all pedestrians. Drive defensively at all times and remember that you represent the U.S. Postal Service when you get behind the wheel.

PCC Day: It's Out of this World!

Giselle E. Valera 
Join the Miami-Dade County Postal Customer Council for its National PCC Day on Friday, September 21, from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm.  Florida Power; Light Company will be the host site at 9250 W Flagler Street in Miami.  Giselle E. Valera, Vice President and Managing Director, Global Business, for the U.S. Postal Service, will talk about the latest global network news.  Participants may network with postal and mailing industry professionals to discover new ways to make their mailings more efficient and profitable.  A continental breakfast, lunch buffet and USPS Professional Certificate are included in the $30 registration at  The last day to register is Friday, September 14.

It's Hurricane Season ... Have You Checked Your Emergency Supply Kit?

We’ve all seen it on the news: long lines at the grocery stores; empty shelves at home supply warehouses as the hurricane bears down on coastal communities. The time to prepare for a hurricane is well in advance, before you hear the warnings from your local media.

Have you inventoried your emergency supply kit lately?  If not, now is a good time to check its contents.  The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has provided the hurricane preparedness checklist on the following pages.  Additional information on how to cope with any disaster, including a hurricane, is available at

Keep items in an airtight bag and put your disaster supply kits into one or two easy-to-carry containers such as a plastic box with lid and handle, a duffel bag, or a backpack. Update your kit each year and rethink your needs at that time.  Check off supplies when added to your kit:

Checkbox  Food and water
Checkbox  Manual can opener
Checkbox  Utensils
Checkbox  First Aid Kit
Checkbox  Flashlight
Checkbox  Battery-operated Radio
Checkbox  Batteries – AAA, AA, C, D, other
Checkbox  Cash in small denominations and coins
Checkbox  Unscented liquid household bleach (for water purification)
Checkbox  Personal hygiene articles: toilet paper, Handi-wipes, soap, feminine supplies
Checkbox  Sturdy shoes
Checkbox  Heavy gloves
Checkbox  Warm clothes, a hat, rain gear

Checkbox  A local map
Checkbox  Extra eye glasses, hearing aids, other vital personal items
Checkbox  Plastic sheeting, duct tape, utility knife (for covering broken windows)
Checkbox  Tools including pliers, a shut-off wrench (for turning off utilities, if needed)

Checkbox  Blanket or sleeping bag
Checkbox  Extra keys to your house or vehicle
Checkbox  A copy of important documents and phone numbers
Checkbox  Paper towels, aluminum foil
Checkbox  Fire extinguisher
Checkbox  Paper, pencils, pens
Checkbox  Various sizes of plastic bags for waste and sanitation
Checkbox  Diapers and other items for babies and children (if needed)
Checkbox  Special-needs items for family members with mobility problems, such as an extra cane or 
manual wheelchair in case there is no power for recharging
Checkbox  Tent or tarp for shelter
Checkbox  Matches in a waterproof container
Checkbox  Pet supplies – food, litter, disposable waste bags, pet medication (if needed)
Checkbox  Plastic storage container
Checkbox  Signal flare
Checkbox  Needles and thread


Checkbox  2 pairs of disposable gloves 
Checkbox  Sterile dressings
Checkbox  Gauze bandages
Checkbox  Cleansing agent – soap and antibiotic towelettes
Checkbox  Antibiotic ointment
Checkbox  Adhesive tape – 2-inch width
Checkbox  Eye wash solution, eye drops
Checkbox  Scissors and tweezers
Checkbox  Over-the-counter medicines i.e. aspirin, pain reliever, laxative, anti-diarrhea, antacids
Checkbox  Daily prescriptions (insulin, heart medicine, asthma inhalers)
Checkbox  Prescribed medical supplies (glucose monitor, blood pressure equipment)

Checkbox  For each pet, get a carrier or crate large enough for the pet to stand up; turn around inside.
Checkbox  Have a leash or muzzle on hand to help control your dog.
Checkbox  Newspapers, plastic bags, cleansers, and kitty litter and disinfectant available for waste 
Checkbox  Sufficient amounts of pet food, water, and special medications on hand
Checkbox  Be sure your pet’s rabies and other vaccinations are current. The collar should have a license 
Checkbox  Gather your pet’s ID and medical records and store in a waterproof package. Include a recent photo of you and your pet with a description and copy of current vaccinations. 
Checkbox  Ask local shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster.


Store enough emergency food to feed your family for at least three days:

Checkbox  Ready-to-eat canned proteins or meats, fruits, vegetables
Checkbox  Canned or boxed juices, milk, soup
Checkbox  High-energy foods i.e. peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars, trail mix 

Checkbox  Comfort foods such as hard candy, sweetened cereals, candy bars, cookies
Checkbox  Dried foods (avoid high salt content)
Checkbox  Instant meals that do not require cooking or water
Checkbox  Portable propane stove and propane bottles
Checkbox  Vitamins
Checkbox  Protein or fruit bars, nuts
Checkbox  Storage sacks with zip locks and utensils such as a picnic knife
Checkbox  Food and water shelf life: write the date you store the food/water on each container. 

  • Use within 6 months: powdered milk in a box, dried fruit in a metal container, dry crispy crackers in a metal container, potatoes
  • Use within 1 year: canned condensed meat and vegetable soups, canned fruits, fruit juices and vegetables, ready-to-eat cereals, peanut butter and jelly, hard candy and canned nuts, and vitamin C
  • May be stored indefinitely (in proper containers): wheat, vegetable oils, dried corn, baking powder,soybeans, instant coffee, tea and cocoa, salt, non-carbonated soft drinks, white rice, boulion products, dry pasta, powdered milk (in nitrogen-packed cans)         
Checkbox  Store 1 gallon of water per person and per pet per day
Checkbox  Seal containers tightly in a clean food grade plastic container, label with a date and store in a
 cool, dark place.
Checkbox  Rotate water supplies every 6 months (water can develop bacteria or algae from microscopic cracks in containers).
Checkbox  Keep a small bottle of unscented liquid bleach to purify water. (Add 8 drops of bleach to one gallon of water.  Shake or stir and allow to stand 30 minutes).

Checkbox  Birth certificates, adoption papers
Checkbox  Marriage certificate
Checkbox  Social Security cards
Checkbox  Military discharge
Checkbox  Health insurance ID cards
Checkbox  Life insurance policies
Checkbox  Auto registration/ownership papers, auto insurance policies
Checkbox  Naturalization documents
Checkbox  Power of attorney

Checkbox  Will 
Checkbox  Passport
Checkbox  Real estate deeds
Checkbox  Previous year tax returns 
Checkbox  Contact info of your attorney
Checkbox  Inventory of valuables with photographs and videotapes


Checkbox  Determine the best two escape routes from your home. 
Checkbox  Plan where to meet if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places --- one just outside your home and one outside your neighborhood. 
Checkbox  Designate a contact person far enough away not to be affected by the same emergency.  Instruct family members to call this person and tell them where they are. 
Checkbox  If you have a cell phone, include an emergency contact in your phone book. Put the letters “ICE” for “In Case of Emergency” before a person’s name to let rescuers know whom to contact.  
Checkbox  Have a cell phone charger available if there is power. Some radios have cell phone chargers via battery.
Checkbox  If your area code is overloaded, you can contact your cell phone company and get an area code of the locale to which you evacuated. Calls should be forwarded and thus allow you to get a call.
Checkbox  Keep a list of toll-free and local phone numbers for help when posted on TV or radio.
Checkbox  Start a file system for contacts made with insurance, police, etc. 

Checkbox  Consider battery-powered walkie-talkies
Checkbox  Carry Change of Address Cards and complete as soon as possible, if needed.

Have an easy-to-carry bag with an ID tag for each member of the family for use for an evacuation.  Include: 
Checkbox  Some water, food, and manual can opener
Checkbox  Flashlight and batteries 

Checkbox  Battery-operated radio 
Checkbox  Whistle 
Checkbox  Personal medications and prescriptions 
Checkbox  Extra keys to your house and vehicle
Checkbox  Walking shoes, warm clothes, a hat, and rain gear
Checkbox  Extra prescription eyeglasses, hearing aid, or vital personal items 
Checkbox  Toilet paper, plastic bags, and other hygiene supplies 
Checkbox  Dust mask
Checkbox  Pocket knife
Checkbox  Paper, pens, and tape for leaving messages 
Checkbox  Cash in small denominations
Checkbox  Copies of insurance and ID cards
Checkbox  A recent picture of your family and pets
Checkbox  In your child’s bag include a favorite toy, game or book and emergency card with reunification location and contact information.

USPS Employee Assistance Program
Free * Confidential * Private * Professional

1-800-EAP-4-YOU   (1-800-327-4968)
TTY 1-877-492-7341