You have probably seen your mail carrier hustling outside in these bone-chilling temperatures.
Chris Stephens has been a mail carrier with the Washington Post Office for seven months. He was hard at work Tuesday while prepping for even colder weather to come.
“I actually just went out yesterday and bought myself a face mask and some nice, warm socks and hand warmers and foot warmers,” said Stephens.
Supervisor of the Washington Post Office, Bryan Reeves, said safety is their number one concern. They give daily, mandatory safety talks, encouraging employees to dress in layers, wear shoe protectors to avoid slipping, and ask workers to use their best judgment.
“Get to every house that I can and if I can’t then I’ll have to skip it […] always airing on the caution of safety,” added Stephens.
Customer Relations Coordinator, Kim Reynolds, representing all local post offices, said mail delivery routes will not change much during the colder temps.
“It is a very hard time. I mean nobody wants to be outside in this weather, but we do deliver the mail. We will do it as efficiently and safely as possible,” said Reynolds.
Wednesday’s wind chills, as low as negative 50, will be an exception in Washington. They will be reducing the amount of time the carriers are outside delivering.
To make it easier on carriers this winter, they are asking you to salt your walkways and to make sure the area around your mailbox is cleared.
We asked the postal service if they would ever tell all employees to stay home. They were not sure how to answer that and said weather like this is quite rare. We also asked if an employee called in, not wanting to come in due to the weather, how they would respond. A spokesperson said “employees are required to be in regular attendance. If employees cannot be in attendance, they report their absence so that Supervisors/Postmasters can make the necessary adjustments to provide the least disruption to the unit.”