Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hurricane Season Starts Today!

Today is the official start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

The South Florida District Emergency Management Team (EMT) is prepared to weather any storm. Under the leadership of District Manager Jeffery A. Taylor and Emergency Manager Michael Vecchitto, the EMT includes postal officials and Postal Inspectors. On May 5 at the District Office, National Preparedness Specialist Teresa Parrett facilitated a hurricane preparedness tabletop exercise to ensure that each team member understood their roles in an emergency.

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 Guide 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.

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 (June 1 – November 30), EMT members monitor National Hurricane Center (NHC) advisories 24/7. Based on these weather forecasts, the team communicates through meetings and teleconferences to make operational decisions. This information is then messaged on the National Employee Emergency Hotline.

The National Employee Emergency Hotline (1-888-EMERGNC or 1-888-363-7462) is the official source of information for weather issues, work schedule changes, and facility status. Remember to enter the first three digits of the ZIP Code of your workplace location.

Also, if you evacuate and relocate due to an emergency, call the hotline number, and then press “5” after entering your facility ZIP Code. You will be routed to an individual who can take your information and relay it to District and Area leadership. Your safety and well-being are their priorities.

If you use Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), call a Florida TRS toll-free number, and the TRS operator will interact with the hotline application on your behalf. Through the use of highly-trained operators, calls can be made 24/7, 365 days a year allowing Florida residents who are in need of services to connect and communicate with anyone at any time.

The simplest way to access the variety of Florida Relay services available is to dial 7-1-1. If the phone from which you are calling does not accept 7-1-1 calls, TRS has a list of dedicated toll-free numbers for each call-type that you can utilize. Please refer to the below chart.  

If you are using TTY equipment
If you are a standard (voice) user, and are trying to connect with a Relay user
If you are utilizing a computer
Voice Carry Over (VCO)
If you prefer to speak directly to the hearing person. When the hearing person speaks   to you, the Relay Operator listens and types everything said to your TTY or VCO phone
Speech to Speech (STS)
If you have a speech disability and would prefer to have a specially-trained Relay Operator serve as your voice and repeat your responses to the called party

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