As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the importance of the Postal Service has never been so evident. But did you know the Postal Service historically has played an important role in our nation’s response to natural disasters and emergencies?
A new OIG white paper explores the Postal Service’s history of involvement in emergency response efforts and what it’s doing today to help support the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the early 19th century, the Post Office Department, as it was known then, used mail to get the smallpox vaccine to citizens across the country. Later, during the 1918-19 flu pandemic, postal workers kept people connected with regular mail delivery and helped educate the public about how to stay safe.
In 1979 the Postal Service played a vital role in reviving Selective Service registration after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. And more recently, after Hurricane Katrina, the Postal Service served as part of the backbone of the nation’s disaster response efforts by helping locate survivors after the 2005 storm left many families homeless.
When it’s needed the most, the Postal Service gets the mail up and running again after emergencies. This can be a lifeline to communities, as well as an important sign that things are returning to normal.
How has the Postal Service helped you or your family during the pandemic or another emergency? Has your reliance on the mail changed?