It takes more than a few flakes to deter letter carriers from making their appointed rounds throughout the midwest and upper midwest, “but, if we cannot reach your mailbox, we cannot deliver your mail,” said Kristy Anderson, strategic communications specialist for the United States Postal Service (USPS). “The postal service treats safety and service with equal priority. “That’s why we remind you to include that mailbox in your snow removal routine.”

Letter carriers are on the front line of severe weather conditions. Doorstep deliveries, painted porches and steps quickly grow hazardous.

“While salting and rubber-backed mats help, we rely on you to clear the snow,” Anderson said. “If there’s a warm spell, and the melting snow puddles, a quick freeze can make a sidewalk slick again.”

Residents who receive delivery to roadside mailboxes also must keep the approach to, and exit from, the mailbox clear of snow or any other obstacles, like trash cans and other vehicles.

“The carrier needs to get in, and then out, without leaving the vehicle or backing up,” said Anderson. “The area near the mailbox should be cleared in a half-moon shape to give the carrier full visibility. Please watch for slow-moving postal vehicles, carriers on foot and children that play near mailboxes or snow banks, and don’t zip by neighbors who are clearing mailboxes or collecting their mail. Let’s all stay safe.”

The postal service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

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– Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain