Thursday, July 9, 2020

Election Mail, Political Mail Resources



The Postal Service wants employees to know about online resources available to help them accept, process and deliver ballots and political mailpieces during this year’s elections.

The Election and Political Mail 2020 Blue page has an interactive map that allows employees to find the names and contact information for each state’s election and political mail coordinators.

Lists of the election and political mail team members for each area and district are also included.

Other resources include employee stand-up talks and lists of standard operating procedures for mail acceptance, delivery and network operations.

Also available is Postal Bulletin’s guide to Election Mail and Political Mail for 2020.

The publication includes a list of key dates; explanations of Election Mail and Political Mail; key messages; information about absentee ballots, voting by mail and ballots from military members serving overseas; an overview of labels and tags; and FAQs.

Source: LINK 

Emergency Hotline Reminder

One down. Five to go. That’s five more months in the official 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season. 

While we cannot control Mother Nature, we can prepare for tropical weather and ensure that we have important phone numbers readily at hand.

The USPS National Employee Emergency Hotline (888-EMERGNC or 888-363-7462) is the system the Postal Service uses in the event of an emergency. It’s the official source of information for weather issues, work schedule changes, and facility status. The hotline number is on the back of your employee identification badge. It’s also a good idea to keep this number in your mobile device and on your home computer. 
If you are deaf or hard of hearing and 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. Phone numbers include 1-800-955-8770 (Voice), 1-800-955-8771 (TTY), and 1-877-955-5334 (Speech-to-Speech).            

Enhancements to the hotline have created a more interactive process to account for employees’ safety. If you evacuate or relocate due to an emergency, call the hotline number, and then after you enter your facility’s 3-digit ZIP Code, press “5.” You will be routed to an individual who can verify that you are in a safe environment. Those individuals will relay the employee information to District and Area leadership.


Appreciating Moore Haven Workers



A grateful family sent this thank you note and boxes of snacks to Moore Haven Post Office employees.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Most Dangerous Threat: Storm Surge


In general, the more intense the storm, and the closer a community is to the right-front quadrant of a hurricane, the larger the area that must be evacuated. The problem always is the uncertainty about how intense the storm will be when it finally makes landfall.

Wave action associated with the tide also causes extensive damage. Water weighs approximately 1,700 pounds per cubic yard; extended pounding by frequent waves can demolish any structure not specifically designed to withstand such forces. The currents created by the tide combine with the action of the waves to severely erode beaches and coastal highways. Many buildings withstand hurricane-force winds until their foundations, undermined by erosion, are weakened and fail.


Storm Surge Safety Actions

Minimize the distance you must travel to reach a safe location; the further you drive, the higher the likelihood of encountering traffic congestion and other problems on the road.

Use the evacuation routes designated by authorities and, if possible, become familiar with your route by driving it before an evacuation order is issued.

Contact your local emergency management office to register or get information regarding anyone in your household who may require special assistance in order to evacuate.

Choose the home of the closest friend or relative outside a designated evacuation zone and discuss your plan before hurricane season. You also may choose a hotel/motel outside the vulnerable area. If neither of these options is available, consider the closest possible public shelter, preferably within your local area.

Prepare a separate pet plan; most public shelters do not accept pets.


Prepare your home prior to leaving by boarding up doors and windows, securing or moving indoors all yard objects, and turning off all utilities.

Before leaving, fill your car with gas and withdraw extra money from the ATM.

Take all prescription medicines with you.

If your family evacuation plan includes a recreational vehicle, boat or trailer, leave early. Do not wait until the evacuation order or exodus is well underway to start your trip.

If you live in an evacuation zone and are ordered to evacuate by state or local officials, do so as quickly as possible. Do not wait or delay your departure; to do so only will increase your chances of being stuck in traffic, or even worse, not being able to get out at all.

Expect traffic congestion and delays during evacuations. Expect and plan for significantly longer than normal travel times to reach your family’s intended destination.

Stay tuned to a local radio or television station, and listen carefully for any advisories or specific instructions from local officials. Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio.


Storm Surge Misconceptions

Storm surge usually is the most dangerous threat of a hurricane.

Misconception: Call 911 and you can be rescued while the water is pouring into your home.

How? No one will be able to get to you. Water rises quickly --- sometimes 6-10 feet within minutes; cars can’t drive in it, and it usually is unnavigable by boats when it is coming ashore.

Misconception: Just stuff towels under the door jambs. Then rush around to start picking up things that are close to floor level, so you can save them.

Bad idea. In a minute or so, the surge will burst open the door, and instead of standing in a room with four inches of water, you’ll be knocked off your feet and into the closest piece of furniture. Suddenly, you’ll be in three or four feet of moving water.

Misconception: You’ll be able to maneuver around into rushing water.

Probably not. Some people who drowned were not even able to get out of the room they were in when the water started pouring into the home.

Misconception: You’ll know in time.

The surge usually is not a wall of water, as is often assumed, but rather a rapid rise of water several feet over a period of minutes, meaning it can sneak in unexpectedly.

Misconception: You can outrun the storm surge in your car.

If you wait until the water is an inch high before trying to outrun the surge, the odds are that the surge will rise to over a foot high before you get your car out of the driveway. If the water is a foot high, the typical 10-15 mph speed of the storm surge’s current has enough force to sweep away a car. In many places along the coast, such as the Florida Keys, there only is one road out of a low-lying region prone to storm surges. In such cases, the storm surge likely will be moving perpendicular to the road, cutting off the only escape route.


How to Survive a Storm Surge

It is common in many flood-prone regions to keep an axe fastened to the wall of the attic. Then, if water comes in unexpectedly, you can get into the attic and chop a hole through the roof to escape. Don’t forget to keep a length of rope that you can use to tie yourself to a sturdy part of the house (just don’t tie yourself to the steel beams as these will sink).

The best way to survive a storm surge is to heed evacuation orders and leave before the surge arrives!

Beat the Heat, Stay Cool



It’s summertime, and it’s hot out there!  It’s important to remember the quick tips below for staying cool and safe this summer season.

Remember these tips:

Hydrate before, during and after work.
Dress appropriately for the weather.
Utilize shade to stay cool.

Know the signs of heat stress:

Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
Headache
Confusion or dizziness
Nausea
Muscle cramps
Weakness or fatigue
Rash

Finally, it’s important to notify your supervisor or call 911 if you’re experiencing signs of heat-related illnesses. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

'Who Let the Dogs Out?' Not Dylan!


Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte’s 12-year-old grandson, Dylan, posed with his “National Dog Bite Awareness Week” coloring page. Dylan is the proud owner of three labrador retrievers --- Lola, Katie and Tica --- apparently all too shy for this photo opportunity. Dylan is a responsible pet owner who is careful not to let his dogs out the front door without supervision or a leash.

Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Saying 'Thank You' in Miami



Miami Quail Heights Branch Letter Carrier Eddie Noguera received a “thank you” note from an appreciative customer on his route.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

NBC to Feature Detroit Letter Carrier on '4th of July Fireworks Spectacular'


Kelly Mathaw, a Detroit letter carrier who appeared on "Live with Kelly and Ryan" in the spring to discuss her role as an essential public worker during the coronavirus pandemic, will appear on “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.”

NBC will air the special Saturday, July 4, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. EDT.

“We’ve delivered medicines and essential needs to customers through all kinds of crises,” Mathaw said. “When customers see us, they know everything is going to be okay. I am proud to be here every day as an example to my family and for our customers.”

Preventing Fireworks Injuries

The Fourth of July is a time to enjoy fireworks with family and friends. However, this year the COVID-19 environment may put a damper on traditional Independence Day celebrations. 

John Adams set off the first commemorative Independence Day fireworks in 1777. Since then, the nation has celebrated this holiday by staging pyrotechnic extravaganza shows with live music and family fun, or just by lighting smaller displays at home.

The thrill of fireworks could be ruined by unexpected explosions and injuries. No one wants the drama of dealing with an accident.

Follow these safety tips: 

  • Before using fireworks, make sure they are permitted in your local area.
  • Read the label and performance description before igniting the fireworks.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits the transportation of fireworks in your luggage.
  • Do not carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal/glass containers.
  • Have a responsible adult supervise all fireworks activities. Do not allow children to play with fireworks.
  • Don't take your pet to a public fireworks event; they can be traumatized by noise.
  • Use fireworks only outdoors and keep them away from vehicles and buildings. Do not point the fireworks at a person, an animal or a structure.
  • Wear fire retardant clothes, safety glasses and safety gloves before shooting fireworks. Most fireworks-related injuries involve hands and fingers (46%) and eyes (17%). 
  • Always have a water hose and a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Light one firework at a time and then back up to a safe distance. Never try to re-light a firework. Wait 10 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Dispose of fireworks by placing them in a metal trash can.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.Report illegal explosives to the Fire or Police Departments.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Giant Card Says It All: 'Thank You!'


Several residents of a Miami, FL, assisted living facility expressed their appreciation on a giant card and presented it to Kendall, FL, Carrier Annex Letter Carrier Constance "Connie" Anderson.  

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Your Guide to Hurricane Terminology











When tropical weather starts to threaten, weather forecasts are filled with new terms and ideas that can be confusing especially to people new to South Florida and tropical weather. These terms should help demystify hurricane season, and help you to feel a bit more confident as we face the season of storms.

Tropical Wave
An inverted trough (an elongated area of relatively low pressure) or cyclonic curvature maximum moving east to west across the tropics. These can lead to the formation of a tropical cyclone. Also known as an easterly wave.
Tropical Disturbance
A tropical weather system with organized convection (generally 100-300 miles in diameter) originating in the tropics or subtropics, having a non-frontal migratory character and maintaining its identity for 24 hours or longer. It may or may not be associated with a detectable perturbation of the wind field.

Tropical Depression
A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 38 MPH (33 knots) or less. Sustained winds are defined as one-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft (10 meters) above the surface.
Tropical Storm
A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is between 39 -73 MPH (34-63 knots).













Hurricane
An intense tropical cyclone with maximum sustained surface wind speeds of 74 MPH (64 knots) or higher. The term hurricane is used for Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclones east of the International Dateline to the Greenwich Meridian. The term typhoon is used for Pacific tropical cyclones north of the Equator west of the International Dateline.
Eye Wall
An organized band of cumulonimbus clouds immediately surrounding the center of the tropical cyclone.

Landfall
The intersection of the surface center of a tropical cyclone with a coastline. Because the strongest winds in a tropical cyclone are not located precisely at the center, it is possible for a cyclone’s strongest winds to be experienced over land even if landfall does not occur. Similarly, it is possible for a tropical cyclone to make landfall and have its strongest winds remain over the water.
Tropical Cyclone
A low pressure system (not associated with a front) that develops over tropical and sometimes sub-tropical waters and has organized deep convection with a closed wind circulation about a well-defined center.

Extratropical Cyclone
A cyclone (of any intensity) for which the primary energy source is baroclinic (i.e., results from the temperature contrast between warm & cold air masses).
Post-Tropical Cyclone
A cyclone that no longer possesses sufficient tropical characteristics to be considered a tropical cyclone. Post-tropical cyclones can continue to carry heavy rains and high winds. Note: former tropical cyclones that become extratropical and remnant lows are 2 specific classes of post-tropical cyclones.

Remnant Low 
A class of post-tropical cyclone that no longer possesses the convective organization required of a tropical cyclone and has maximum sustained winds of less than 34 knots.

Storm Surge
An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide.

Storm Tide
The actual level of sea water resulting from the astronomic tide combined with the storm surge.
Tropical Storm Watch
An announcement that sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are possible within the specified area within 48 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.
Tropical Storm Warning
An announcement that sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.

Hurricane Watch
An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are possible within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.


Hurricane Warning
An announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or higher are expected somewhere within the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. The warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.

Short Term Watches and Warnings
These warnings provide detailed information about specific hurricane threats, such as flash floods and tornadoes.
Source: FEMA

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

USPS is Hiring in Hialeah, Pahokee






Balloons and Signs of Appreciation


Miami customer left balloons and signage at the Kendall Carrier Annex and Snapper Creek Branch in appreciation of employees' continued service.

Pump Up Volume for Hip-Hop Stamps

Today the U.S. Postal Service celebrates the hip-hop movement with new Forever stamps at a virtual stamp dedication at the Universal Hip Hop Museum.  The virtual stamp event will be posted on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages (see below for access) at 11 a.m. Your viewing must be an off-the-clock activity.

Program participants will include U.S. Postal Inspection Service Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale, Universal Hip Hop Museum Executive Director Rocky Bucano, and Legendary Hip-Hop Artist Kurtis Blow.

Since its inception more than four decades ago, the electrifying music, dance and art of hip-hop have profoundly influenced American and global popular culture. A dynamic youth culture emerged in the mid-1970s at playgrounds and community centers in African American and African Caribbean neighborhoods in New York City. The term “hip-hop” refers to four creative activities that developed together: rapping, DJing, break dancing and graffiti art. Even before hip-hop music hit the radio airwaves in 1979, teenagers developed hip-hop for neighborhood fun, for storytelling and to speak out about social issues overlooked by mainstream society.

Over the next several decades, hip-hop grew into a global musical and cultural force. Not only are hip-hop artists found in every corner of the world, but each scene also brings its own contributions to the art form and tells its own local stories.

This pane of 20 stamps features four elements of hip-hop: MCing (rapping), b-boying (break dancing), DJing and graffiti art. The bold, digitally tinted images on the stamps are intended to appear in motion. There are five stamps of each design. The words “Forever,” “USA,” “Hip Hop” and the name of the element featured appear across the top of each stamp. The stamps are highlighted with a vivid yellow, green, red and black color scheme. The title of the stamp issuance, printed in red and black, is centered on the top of the pane.

About the Universal Hip Hop Museum

Anchored in the birthplace of hip-hop, the Universal Hip Hop Museum is the official museum of hip-hop founded by its pioneers. The museum celebrates and preserves the history of local and global hip-hop music and culture from the past, present and future. The museum was built as a space for audiences, artists and technology to converge and create unparalleled educational and entertainment experiences. Visit The [R]Evolution of Hip Hop, a sneak peek immersive journey through history as the museum gears up to officially open its doors in 2023. For more information visit www.UHHM.org.

How to View                     
           
Facebook

If you choose to watch a virtual Postal Service stamp event through your mobile device:

1.  Download the Facebook app from your phone’s app store. (If you already have the app, go to step 3.)
2.  Sign in to your Facebook account.
3.  In the search box, type USPS.
4.  Select “Pages” and click the “Like” button for “US Postal Service.” (Note: You must “Like” USPS to be able to view the virtual event.)
5.  Once you have liked USPS, go to the USPS Facebook page.
6.  Scroll down the page until you see “Posts.”
7.  Click on the event. (Note: If you are experiencing technical difficulties or the event does not start exactly at the scheduled time and you do not see the livestream, keep refreshing your page until it becomes available.)

If you choose to watch a virtual Postal Service stamp event through your desktop or laptop, sign in to your Facebook account.

1.  In the search box, type USPS.
2.  Select “Pages” and click the “Like” button for “US Postal Service.” (Note: You must “Like” USPS to be able to view the virtual event.)
3.  Once you have liked USPS, go to the USPS Facebook page.
4.  Scroll down the page until you see “Posts.”
5.  Click on the event. (Note: If you are experiencing technical difficulties or the event does not start exactly at the scheduled time and you do not see the livestream, keep refreshing your page until it becomes available.)

Twitter

Mobile view: Open Twitter app. If you do not have a Twitter account, you can download the Twitter app and create your own account, or open twitter.com/USPS from your phone’s web browser. Once the ceremony begins, the virtual event will appear at the top of the USPS Twitter feed. If the ceremony does not appear, keep refreshing the page until the event appears.

Desktop view: Sign in to your Twitter account or open twitter.com/USPS from your computer’s web browser. Once the ceremony begins, the virtual event will appear at the top of the USPS Twitter feed. If the ceremony does not appear, keep refreshing the page until the event appears. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

'What's Up, Doc?' A 'Hare-Raising' Stamp Announcement on July 27

The Postal Service will issue commemorative stamps celebrating Bugs Bunny’s 80th birthday on Monday, July 27.

USPS and Warner Bros. Consumer Products will dedicate the stamps during a virtual ceremony that day, which marks the 80th anniversary of Bugs Bunny’s official screen debut.

The character has always been known for his impeccable impersonations and his masterful masquerades, so the soon-to-be-revealed 10 designs on the 20-stamp pane will each showcase a costumed Bugs Bunny in some of his most memorable getups.

The original stamp artwork is based on Bugs Bunny’s iconic moments and was created especially for the stamps by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., featuring work from Warner Bros. Animation artists, who also created the sketches on the reverse side of the stamp pane.
This image is one of several that will appear on the back of the Bugs Bunny stamp pane. A sneak peek of the stamps will be available soon on the USPS Facebook page.

Surviving the South Florida Heat

Hot weather is here. Extreme heat can be dangerous. No one should die from heat wave, but every year on average, extreme heat causes 658 deaths in the United States.

There are three degrees of heat illness: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat-related deaths are preventable when the signs and symptoms are recognized and respected:

Heat Cramps – intermittent, involuntary spasm of muscles occurring in an individual who is physically active in hot or humid weather.

Heat Exhaustion – is a serious illness.  Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst, and heavy sweating.

Heat Stroke – is the most serious and requires immediate medical attention.  Symptoms include confusion, fainting, seizures, very high body temperatures and hot, dry skin or profuse sweating. 
What can you do?

Drink plenty of water, at least eight ounces every 20 minutes

Take rest breaks to help your body recover

Rest in the shade or in air-conditioning to cool down

Stuart Carrier Retires Among Praise



Stuart Annex Letter Carrier Earl Geter clocked out for the last time on Friday, June 26. He officially has retired.  

The adjacent sign is from customers who appreciate Geter and his co-workers who continue to provide outstanding service in the COVID-19 environment. The sign reads: "To All Postal Employees: We need you! We want you! We applaud you! Keep doing what you're doing! Stay safe!" 

"Our customers and the management of the Stuart Annex appreciate each and every one of our employees,: said Supervisor, Customer Services Ruth Gonzalez.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Showing Appreciation


Story and Photo:
Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator Edwin Vivas

The U.S. Postal Service provides an essential public service and binds together the nation as a part of the country’s critical infrastructure. Furthermore our Fort Lauderdale employees are dedicated and committed to accepting, processing, transporting and delivering vital mail and packages like medicine, benefits checks and important information to every home and business. Our retail employees also take great pride in serving our customers.  

Recently, many companies have been so reaching out the U.S. Postal Service to let them know they are here for us as well. Recently, LF of America located in Boca Raton, FL offered all Fort Lauderdale employees hand sanitizer spray pens. 

LF of America General Manager Diego Bulgarelli was not asking for any recognition for its donation; they just wanted to ensure the safety of the Fort Lauderdale postal workforce.  

At a recent gathering at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office Carrier Annex, Fort Lauderdale Postmaster David Guiney (right) read a letter written to Bulgarelli, thanking LF of America for the generous gift.



Saturday, June 27, 2020

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'


Customers Thank Clewiston Workers



Local church members showed their appreciation for Clewiston Post Office employees. Children sent handwritten thank you cards and adults presented gift baskets, along with two coolers of ice water, energy drinks, and homemade goodies, hand sanitizer and tissues. 


USPS Offers Scholarship Funds

If you’re interested in pursuing your education, the Postal Service has scholarships to high-potential, non-bargaining employees.

The Centralized Funding for Development (CFD) Scholarship is designed to financially support high-potential postal employees in their pursuit of professional certifications, individual college courses, or degree programs. Such a partnership is mutually beneficial, as employees receive professional development and the Postal Service strengthens the leadership bench. Partnering financially demonstrates commitment from both parties.

Scholarship Criteria
  • High-potential, non-bargaining employees with two years of service are eligible.
  • The application period is July 1 – 31, 2020. 
  • Payouts in specified dollar amounts of $500 to $15,000 per year are offered. A matrix to determine the amount of the scholarship offer will be used.
  • Requests for scholarship renewals should be submitted during the application period.
  • A Continued Service Agreement for all monetary awards of $5,000 or more is required.
Please direct any questions to this link: 
https://teamsiteblb.usps.gov/iw-cc/command/iw.group.formspub.generate.

Friday, June 26, 2020

Fashionable Face Covering Protects



Fort Pierce Administrative Assistant Jacqueline Long made a fashion statement with a blouse and a matching face covering for protection.

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'


Thursday, June 25, 2020

Key Largo Team is #PostalProud

The Key Largo Post Office Team beamed with pride as they posed in front of the banner, “Heroes Work Here … Thank You for Your Dedication to Our Customers.” Pictured Front: Rural Carrier Associate Michele Burke. Second row from left: Rural Carrier Maureen Dodge; Rural Carrier Associates Latavia Battles and Xavier Lugo-Santiago; and Rural Carrier Jimmy Charron. Back: Supervisor, Customer Services Rollo Casiple. 

Staying Healthy in South Florida Heat

Hot weather is here. Extreme heat can be dangerous. No one should die from heat wave, but every year on average, extreme heat causes 658 deaths in the United States.

There are three degrees of heat illness: heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat-related deaths are preventable when the signs and symptoms are recognized and respected:

Heat Cramps – intermittent, involuntary spasm of muscles occurring in an individual who is physically active in hot or humid weather.

Heat Exhaustion – is a serious illness.  Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, thirst, and heavy sweating.

Heat Stroke – is the most serious and requires immediate medical attention.  Symptoms include confusion, fainting, seizures, very high body temperatures and hot, dry skin or profuse sweating. 
What can you do?

Drink plenty of water, at least eight ounces every 20 minutes

Take rest breaks to help your body recover

Rest in the shade or in air-conditioning to cool down