October 29, 2014

U.S. POSTAL SERVICE UNVEILS PUNA LAVA FLOW CONTINGENCY PLANS

The United States Postal Service issued the following update for Hawaii Island residents affected by the lava flow:

The Pahoa Post Office will remain open for business as long as it can operate without jeopardizing the safety or security of our postal employees, our customers and the mail.

U.S. Postal Service (USPS) management is in close contact with Hawaii County civil defense authorities and managers of potentially affected Hawaii island Post Offices.

Contingency plans are being guided by general civil defense public safety directives and specific concerns over the safety of USPS employees.

If the Pahoa Post Office is evacuated, the Hilo Airport Post Office will likely serve as a short-term base of operations.

USPS is making arrangements to lease an alternate facility nearer to Pahoa that can be operational soon after an evacuation.

USPS is closely monitoring the impact to air quality of sulfuric dioxide emissions from the lava and smoke from debris fires. Adjustments will be made to postal operations as needed to ensure that employee safety is not compromised.

Contingency plans will likely evolve as the lava flow continues to impact access to Pahoa and the lives of its residents.

Plans must consider employee safety concerns, the availability of resources and the U.S. Postal Service’s commitment to customer service.

The bottom line is that, regardless of how this lava flow event plays out, the mail will be delivered. We will find a way to get it done.