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?

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  • anon

    I watched your Youtube video as to safe post offices - no where does it say to wear a mask and none of the figures you show are wearing a mask. My small local post office - there is a large sneeze shield now installed, however, as there is the cut out where you put your packages, etc. through, when your postal employees have their masks hanging below their chin, their breathing droplets drop to the counter and can easily spread to the customer indoors. When I commented and asked the to pull the mask up before I would get closer to the counter, some of the workers have comments that they don't need a mask because of the "shield" which is not true based on CDC and best medical guidelines. Why is your video not reflected that masks should be worn in the post offices by employees and customers (our post office does have a sign masks are required on the door) and why was your video produced with a clear breech of guidelines requiring a mask. This is "FAKE" information and that is just another example of why the US is doing so poorly in controlling this dead virus. You can do better irrespective of politics and you should. Shame on you for not. The postal workers deserve better also for the hard work they do.

    Sep 21, 2020
  • anon

    Herodotus said it around 450 BC.."Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds!" Of course he was not speaking of the Postal Service since the post office would not exist for another 2200 years. He was speaking of the Persians but oh so apropos today for that is exactly what the Postal Service does. I can attest that if the roads is passable, if the housing exists, if the business is in business that the mail will be delivered and the promise of universal service still stands. One country deserves one service regardless of location. Tell that to your local politician.

    Sep 19, 2020
  • anon

    The USPS is awful. They can't ever tell when a package will arrive. I will ship anything via USPS ever again.

    Sep 15, 2020
  • anon

    I don't understand when there is a directive and order from the Governor for everyone to wear mask, and I walk into the main post office (Hot Springs National Park) and none of the employees are wearing mask. And I must admit there was one employee wearing a mast but all the others NONE. The electronic signage when you walked in indicated that wearing a mask was recommended. Recommended, if its recommended why are all the patrons wearing mask and non of the postal workers wearing mask. It does not make sense to me. I will start going to the other post office in town where they do respect each other and realize that we're in the middle of a pandemic. I'll be asking the Governor the same question. It's a matter of pride and outward sign that you are caring and respectful. I'm disappointed.

    Sep 15, 2020

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