Saturday, August 31, 2019

'What Safety Means to Me!'

To Shutter or Not to Shutter

As a hurricane approaches, the question is when to put up the storm shutters, which can be a Herculean task if not done with ample time and with a team.
Hurricanes pack major winds, reaching upwards of 175 mph. A direct hit is not needed for property damage to occur.  Strong winds can be felt well before landfall.

Putting up shutters, whether accordion, metal or plywood, is a chore often performed by residents that are not accustomed to hauling around large pieces of metal or plywood and can easily result in injuries. Often the injuries that occur are not life-threatening — cuts to hands, arms and legs — but still require a visit to the doctor for stitches and a tetanus shot nonetheless. Also, injuries to the back can occur, so it is imperative to use proper lifting techniques while installing and removing shutters.
The more serious injuries that occur during preparation involve ladders. In some cases people fall from second stories while trying to close accordion shutters when suddenly the ladder kicks out from under them. When you see workers on ladders they typically work in teams and work at home for something like shutter installation should be no different. Reach out to family, friends, co-workers, or neighbors to get the task done and done safely. 

Here are some tips to safely install hurricane shutters:
·  Put your shutter panels up before wind speeds start to increase.
·  Get yourself a buddy. A spouse, a friend, a neighbor to help install them.
·  Allow yourself two days to complete the job.
·  Use heavy work gloves. Shutter slats are sharp.
·  Make sure your ladder is safe.
·  Always bend at the knees when you pick up heavy panels.
·  Don’t move more than one panel at a time.
·  Don’t panic. Stress reduces common sense.  

Turn Around, Don't Drown

Inland flooding usually occurs during or after a heavy, slow-moving rain storm. But it also can result from strong coastal storms. Severe inland flooding can occur in areas that are hundreds of miles from the eye of a hurricane.

The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away a vehicle. This includes pickups and SUVs.

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true during the dark, when your vision is more limited.

Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Maintaining Communication

The South Florida District Emergency Management Team reminds employees to add the National Employee Emergency Hotline --- 888-363-7462 --- to their cell phone directory, if they have not already done so. This number also should be on a yellow sticker on the back of your employee ID badge.

The National Employee Emergency Hotline (888-EMERGNC or 888-363-7462) is the official source of information for weather issues, work schedule changes, and facility status.

When calling the National Employee Emergency Hotline, remember to enter the first three digits of the ZIP Code of your workplace location. In addition, if you evacuate and relocate due to an emergency, call the hotline number, and after entering your facility ZIP Code, select “Option 5.” You will be routed to an individual who can take your information and relay it to District and Area leadership whose priorities are your safety and well-being.

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. The simplest way to access the variety of Florida Relay services is to dial 7-1-1.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Maintenance Prepares for Weather

By Edwin Vivas
     Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

The U.S. Postal Service wants employees to be prepared for hurricane season, which runs from June1-Nov. 30 each year. Most coastal areas are subject to hurricanes. The storms can cause high winds, heavy rain, flooding and other dangerous conditions.
Take these steps to prepare:

· Store enough food and water to last at least three days.
· Prepare a first-aid kit and make plans for pets.
· Know your community’s hurricane plans, including evacuation routes.
· Keep your contact information current using a physical address.   
Protecting our site facilities and equipment is instrumental in continuing or restoring operations in the event of a hurricane. Manager, Field Maintenance Operations (MFMO) Jeffery Best and his team ensure that we're prepared.
One of the steps this team handles is assuring our generators are ready for any possible power outages. Without power the USPS is less able to address damage inside our facility, which can lead to structural damage and loss of equipment and files. With a working generator we can carry on operations as soon as possible.

Manager, Field Maintenance Operations (MFMO) Jeffery Best oversees work of his team to ensure generators are ready for power interruptions due to inclement weather. Team members include South Florida Maintenance Mechanic Mark Bland, and Area Maintenance Technicians Angel Berzaga, Enoch Bethel, and Bryan Hooper. Photo: Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator Edwin Vivas

Dinosaurs to Roam Earth on Stamps

With this pane of 16 stamps, the Postal Service brings Tyrannosaurus rex to life — some 66 million years after its demise.

The First-Day-Of-Issue ceremony is today at 11 a.m. at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.

Tyrannosaurus rex dominated the tail end of the dinosaur age. A recent surge in discoveries has revolutionized our understanding of the fierce carnivore.

Four dynamic designs on a pane of 16 stamps depict the awe-inspiring dinosaur in growth stages from infancy to adulthood.

One design illustrates a face-to-face encounter with a T. rex approaching through a forest clearing; another shows the same young adult T. rex with a young Triceratops — both dinosaurs shown in fossil form.

The third and fourth stamps depict a newly hatched T. rex covered with downy feathers and a bare-skinned juvenile T. rex chasing a primitive mammal. 

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Hotline, Hotline, Calling on the Hotline

As we approach the peak of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, the South Florida District Emergency Management Team reminds employees to add the National Employee Emergency Hotline --- 888-363-7462 --- to their cell phone directory, if they have not already done so. This number also should be on a yellow sticker on the back of your employee ID badge.

The National Employee Emergency Hotline (888-EMERGNC or 888-363-7462) is the official source of information for weather issues, work schedule changes, and facility status.

When calling the National Employee Emergency Hotline, remember to enter the first three digits of the ZIP Code of your workplace location. In addition, if you evacuate and relocate due to an emergency, call the hotline number, and after entering your facility ZIP Code, select “Option 5.” You will be routed to an individual who can take your information and relay it to District and Area leadership whose priorities are your safety and well-being.

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. The simplest way to access the variety of Florida Relay services is to dial 7-1-1.

Hialeah Passport Fair is Sat, Sept 14

Does your vacation destination require a passport? If so, first take a trip to the Hialeah Passport Fair on Saturday, September 14. Sales and Services Associates/Passport Clerks  at the Hialeah Main Office, 325 E First Ave, will accept your application for processing between 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Employee participation will be an off-the-clock activity
U.S. citizens must present a valid Passport Book to enter or re-enter the United States by air. U.S. citizens entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land borders and seaports of entry must present a Passport Book, Passport Card or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government.  

How to Prepare for the Passport Application Process:  

  • A completed application (form is available at; but do not sign it until the passport clerk instructs you to do so).  
  • Remember that everyone, including newborn infants, is required to obtain a passport in his or her own name. For children under age 16, the consent of both parents/ guardians is required. 
  • Proof of identity (a valid permanent state driver’s license, a government ID or military ID, previous passport, Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization Certificate)
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship (previous passport, original or certified birth certificate issued from the state with a raised, embossed, impressed, or multi-colored seal and registrar’s signature and date of certificate filing)
  • Two official passport photos (available at the Passport Fair for $15)
  • Social Security Number
The U.S. Department of State fees vary according to age and type. The fee(s) must be made by money order, check, bank draft, or cashier’s check made payable to the U.S. Department of State; debit and credit card payment is not available. The Passport Book fee for under age 16 is $80; for age 16 and older is $110. The Passport Card fee for under age 16 is $15, and for age 16 and older is $30. In addition, all acceptance agencies, including the Postal Service, charge a processing fee of $35 per application. A debit or credit card may be used in addition to cash, money order, or check made payable to the U.S. Postal Service.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Updating Your Emergency Contacts

It only takes one hurricane or tropical storm to realize the importance of having current information in your electronic Official Personnel File (eOPF). Now is a good time to update your information (if you already haven't done so) to ensure that your manger/supervisor can contact you in any emergency --- including in the aftermath of a hurricane or a tropical storm. Here are five options:
On the welcome page, enter your Employee Identification Number (EIN) and Postal Identification Number (PIN). In the middle of the next page, where you see Employee Apps - Quick Links, click on Change of Address to update your contact information.
Personnel Computer Kiosks
Look for a table titled, Present Job Info/Change of Address on the main web page.
Blue Page (USPS internal web page)
-- Select Log On from the upper left corner.
-- Log on with your ACE ID and password.
-- Ensure the welcome screen has your name.
-- Select the tab labeled My Life. On the right side of the page is the heading My Profile, where you will find two links titled Address/Phone and Emergency Contact. Select Address/Phone.
-- Select the Address type from the drop menu and click on the Change button.
-- Make your desired change(s) and click on Save.
PS Form 1216, Employee's Current Mailing Address
Send Copy 1 of your completed form to HRSSC Compensation and Benefits, PO Box 970400, Greensboro NC 27497-0400.
Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC)
Call the Human Resources Shared Service Center (HRSSC) at 1-877-477-3273 and Select Option 5. Validate your identity with your EIN and PIN. Follow the prompts.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Monday, August 26, 2019

Focus on Safety

August is the beginning of the new school year for many students. This means an increase in the number of pedestrians crossing streets and sidewalks as children walk to and from school or wait for school buses. Drivers need to take extra precautions to avoid accidents and keep children safe by staying alert and driving defensively.
Children are unpredictable and may not recognize the dangers of distracted walking caused by texting or talking on the phone. They take risks, ignore hazards, and fail to look both ways when crossing the street, or while walking or riding their bikes. Here are some precautions to take when driving through residential areas and especially  near schools:
  • Slow down and obey the speed limit.
  • Adjust your mirrors so that you can see around your vehicle.
  • Avoid backing up your vehicle.
  • Avoid distracted driving.
A school zone sign with a flashing yellow light indicates you must reduce your speed to the limit posted on the sign. When you see a school zone sign, do not pass or change lanes, and obey the posted speed limit throughout the school zone. Always stay alert and use increased caution. 

As with school zones, drivers also must be alert and slow down when near a school bus. A bus with flashing red lights or a stop sign extended means children are getting on or off the bus. Vehicles from both directions must stop at least 10 feet away to allow enough space for children to safely enter and exit the bus. Drivers must remain stopped until:   
  • The red lights stop flashing.
  • The stop sign has been drawn back.
  • The driver waves you on. 
  • The bus begins to move.
Failure to stop for a school bus with the stop indicators engaged can result in hefty fines. In many states, school buses also are required to stop at railroad crossings. You are breaking the law if you pass a school bus stopped at a railroad crossing.
The U.S. Postal Service makes every effort to promote safe neighborhoods. Whether you are on or off the clock, be alert to your surroundings to keep children safe.
Source: Postal Bulletin 22526 (8/15/19)

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Sunday, August 25, 2019

More Career Expo Photos

Miami Postmaster Steve Kirkland addresses Career Expo attendees in the conference center.
Postal Police Officer Craig Clarit (left) and Postal Inspector Yessenia Vargas (right) set up a table of information on career opportunities.

Manager, Marketing Juan Nadal (left) and District Manager Tim Costello (right) congratulate Janet Rosado-Calleja (center) on her detail to the Marketing Department. Rosado-Calleja is a Postal Support Employee (PSE) at the Miami International Service Center (ISC). 

Manager, Operations Programs Support Alex Alejandro (right) selects Pablo Torres, Sr. (center) for a detail in his department. Alejandro, along with District Manager Timothy Costello (left), congratulate Torres on his new assignment.

Pompano Postmaster Mike Vecchitto (left) selects Julio De Paula (center) for a detail assignment. Vecchitto and District Manager Timothy Costello (right) extend their congratulations.

Photos: Kelly Worthman

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Saturday, August 24, 2019

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Fort Lauderdale Carrier to the Rescue

Lauderridge Carrier Annex Letter Carrier Antoine Loussaint, Jr. rescued a wandering child from a busy street on his route. Photo: Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator Edwin Vivas  

Recently, Lauderridge Carrier Annex Letter Carrier Antoine Loussaint, Jr. saw a child attempting to cross a heavily-traveled NW 58 Terrace in Fort Lauderdale.

“I was shocked that there was a child without any supervision crossing the street,” said Loussaint. “I have kids," said Loussaint. "I would love for someone to do that for me."  

Loussaint assisted the child to safely cross the busy road, and then attempted to locate the parents without success. Then he called 911. Local authorities arrived and thanked him for rescuing the youngster from a dangerous situation.

Back at the Lauderridge Carrier Annex, Manager, Customer Services Camille Moscola-Calvo also thanked Loussaint for his bravery.  

More Career Expo Photos

Teckraj Poorustom (center) is a Supervisor, Customer Services at the Wellington Carrier Annex. He expresses his interest in computer science to District Manager Timothy Costello (left) and Manager, Information Systems Jose Puig (right).
Acting Senior Plant Manager Juan Gonzalez (standing) encourages employees to apply for plant positions in Miami, Opa-Locka, and West Palm Beach.
Pompano Postmaster Mike Vecchitto (standing) emphasized the importance of having an excellent work ethic and maintaining an outstanding attendance record when seeking upward mobility.

Manager, Marketing Juan Nadal (standing, left) and Career Expo attendees listen intently to Manager, Finance Joel Ouellette (standing, right) talk about the challenges of meeting an operating budget.

Seated, District Complement Coordinator Maxine Smith, and standing from left, Field Recruiter Lorraine Ramsey, Miami Bulk Mail Unit Entry (BMEU) Technician Dominique Everett, and Safety Specialist Tiffany Chestnut-Moss were all smiles at the Career Expo.

Weston Branch Manager, Customer Services James Irizarry reviews and critiques eCareer profiles to better prepare employees for future job vacancies.

Acting Manager, Post Office Operations, Area 1 Michelle Jarrell (standing) seeks a manager to fill the Key West Postmaster vacancy.

Photos: Kelly Worthman

Friday, August 23, 2019

Career Expo: Lake Worth Supervisor Details to Hollywood Manager

Robert Tobias (left) is a Supervisor, Customer Services at the Lucerne Avenue Branch in Lake Worth. He came to the Career Expo seeking opportunities for upward mobility. His credentials impressed the district leadership, especially Hollywood Postmaster Dan Carleen, who selected him for a 30-day detail as Manager, Customer Services.

Pictured above, District Manager Tim Costello (right) congratulates Tobias on his new assignment and wishes him continued success in his postal career.

Next week, additional employees selected for 30-day detail assignments will be featured in the blog.

Photo: Kelly Worthman

Medicare Integration

To help restore USPS to financial stability, the organization’s leaders for many years have called for Medicare to be fully integrated into postal retiree health plans.

To help you understand what this means, here are some things you should know:

• Integrating the Postal Service’s Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plans with Medicare would benefit both USPS and its retirees. When postal employees retire and are enrolled in Medicare, their Medicare coverage becomes their primary health coverage and their FEHB plans become their secondary health coverage.

Most private sector employers — and many state and local governments — that provide retiree health care to their employees require them to enroll in Medicare parts A and B.

While currently postal retirees are not required to enroll in Medicare when they become eligible at age 65, the majority of retirees do so voluntarily. In fact, 3 out of 4 retirees sign up for Medicare Part B because they determine that having both Medicare and an FEHB plan provides a better value for their out-of-pocket medical costs.

• Current legislative proposals being discussed on Capitol Hill would require that the Postal Service’s FEHB plans integrate with Medicare. If enacted, these proposals would be similar to what occurs in the private sector and at the state and local government levels.

There are a number of benefits to retirees under these proposals. While retirees would have an additional cost associated with Medicare Part B coverage, many FEHB plans eliminate the deductibles, copays and coinsurance for retirees who enroll in Medicare. Some plans offer additional incentives such as lower copays for prescription drugs for participants who enroll in Medicare.

Additionally, retirees may be able to select an FEHB plan with a lower premium cost when enrolling in Medicare and still maintain 100 percent coverage. Often, these savings offset or even exceed the cost of Medicare Part B coverage for many retirees.

• Integration with Medicare would ensure that the Postal Service would be able to provide retiree health care for employees into the future. However, it’s important to realize that this proposal alone won’t restore USPS to financial stability.

The Postal Service also requires legislative reform, a better product and service pricing system, and continued efforts to innovate and improve efficiency.

USPS will provide employees and retirees with more information on Medicare integration when it becomes available.

Source: Link

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Thursday, August 22, 2019

35 Years and Counting in Miami

Miami Postmaster Stephen Kirkland (above, right) presented Miami Manager, Customer Service Operations Juan Albo (above, left) with his 35-year Service Award and pin. 

Albo, who began his career as a Multi-Position Letter Sorting Machine (MPLSM) Operator at the Miami Processing and Distribution Center, has served in many positions throughout his career. His commitment to the organization has resulted in his covering various positions including American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Officer and Acting Supervisor, Delivery. He was promoted to Supervisor, Customer Services and Manager, Customer Services in the Miami area. In 2015, he was promoted to his current position as Manager, Customer Service Operations (North).  

Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

Informed Delivery: Why It's Important

Business Development Specialist Kim Person (left) is the District Informed Delivery Ambassador. At her Career Expo table, Person convinced many employees to sign up for this free feature on the spot! Photo: Kelly Worthman

You hear a lot about Informed Delivery these days, but do you understand how the mail notification service works — and why it’s important?

Informed Delivery has more than 18 million users. The feature is available to residential consumers and PO Box residential customers. USPS employees can sign up at Sign-up is voluntary and must be completed off the clock.

Informed Delivery bridges the digital and physical. The free feature allows users to digitally preview their incoming mail and manage their packages — wherever, whenever — from computers, tablets and mobile devices.

One word: Convenience. Informed Delivery users receive email notifications containing images of the outside of incoming letter-size mailpieces that will soon arrive in their physical mailboxes. These images are also accessible on the Informed Delivery online dashboard and mobile app.

Informed Delivery allows users to track packages, too. If USPS Tracking is available for an incoming package, a consumer can view the delivery status in their Informed Delivery emails. Additionally, they can manage notifications and schedule redelivery from the Informed Delivery dashboard.

Businesses can add interactive content to Informed Delivery emails. When a consumer clicks on this content, he or she will be taken to the company’s website to receive offers, coupons or to learn more about the firm’s products and services.