Dress For Fall

We’re right in the middle of fall, which means cooler temperatures are rolling in. If you don’t have the right attire for the season, now is the time to shop. That’s why this month we’re featuring some of our top recommendations for uniform items that are perfect for fall weather.

Long-Sleeved Shirts

Since temperatures in fall can fluctuate so much, investing in a simple, long-sleeved Postal shirt for the season is a great option. You can add a jacket to this shirt if needed, or simply complete your route without one. They are made from a poly and cotton blend to keep you comfortable while on the job. Click the link above to read the full details about this shirt.

Letter Carrier Sweaters

Carrier sweaters are a great way to keep snug during your route without wearing a Postal jacket. They are perfect for the changing seasons such as fall. These sweaters come with a zippered front so you can keep it zipped or unzipped depending on the weather. This item will keep you not only warm, but comfortable.

Unisex Dickie

If you are looking for just a bit of extra warmth during these cooler fall temperatures, a Postal sweater dickie is a great option. This simple garment is low-priced and union made, so you can be sure that you are getting a quality item. This Postal dickie comes in one unisex size, designed to fit anyone. This is a great low-cost option to help you keep comfortable this fall.

Mock Turtleneck

Our unisex mock turtlenecks are manufactured from 100% combed cotton jersey knit, so you will be warm and comfortable while on your route. It has been designed for the ultimate comfort and is made in the USA by union members. The collar, which measures two inches, provides a bit of extra material to protect you from that cool, fall breeze.

Postal Jacket with Zip-Out Liner

Our Postal jacket with a zip-out liner is great for all seasons! This is because the jacket comes with a zip-out insulated liner. You can keep it inserted when it is cool, and as the day grows warmer you can remove it so you don’t get overheated. Our jackets are made right here in the USA in a wide variety of sizes so all USPS employees can benefit.

Postal Windbreaker

Stay warm against the chilly winds and dry during autumn rain with our Postal windbreaker. The windbreaker is lightweight so you won’t get too warm, but gives you some protection from cooler weather. Our windbreakers are made in the USA so you can rest assured that they meet the quality standards you expect from your uniform items.

 

These items will help your work experience this fall be more comfortable. Which is your favorite? Let us know!

Rural Letter Carrier Tips

When you work as a rural letter carrier you face challenges that city carriers do not. Today we want to offer some tips to all our hardworking rural letter carriers out there! Some of these tips may also apply to city carriers, but all of these tips are here to help you make your job easier.

First off, we recommend not casing DPS unless you will be facing intense weather such as rain or snow. On the whole this will save you time. If you find this slows you down, try casing it, but overall most rural carriers report that the former method is faster.

If you own your vehicle that you are taking on your route, make sure you have a spare key. You do not want to get locked out of your vehicle.

Invest in a tool to help you retrieve mail from mailboxes. If mail is stuffed in the back of mailboxes, it really slows you down if you have to exit your vehicle. You may choose to invest in a retrieval hook, or even some type of handle that you can manipulate to drag the mail closer to you. This saves a lot of time.

Mark large parcels that you will need to take to the door. You may also choose to label these parcels and arrange them in order in your vehicle. This will save time while you are actually on your route.

You may also choose to arrange your parcels street by street, with each street assigned a box or bucket that you can keep parcels in.

If weather allows, try to keep your window open at all times. It makes the mail delivery much faster. You may consider modifying your personal vehicle with some type of wind or rain deflector which makes driving with an open window much more pleasant in colder weather.

Keep a towel in your vehicle or on your lap for rainy days. You may want to invest in some sort of raingear because when it rains, there is no way to avoid getting wet.

Get warm gloves with a strong grip for winter delivery. And it’s also a good idea to keep a warm beverage in your vehicle with you, since opening your window so often is going to keep your vehicle much colder than you’d like.

Invest in safety products. This may be a sticker warning other vehicles that you make frequent stops, or some type of light on the top of your vehicle. Your car will not be utilizing the road like the average car, so having some visual safety markers can help keep you safe.

Tips For Delivering Mail Faster

Are you new on the job and trying to figure out how older USPS employees finish their routes so quickly? Like most things, it simply takes practice. While a few tips from us can’t make you zip through your route, these tips will make your route easier and save you a bit of time.

The best thing you can do is ask for advice from your coworkers. They’ve been doing the job and will likely have tons of advice to offer. You may choose to simply ask for tips, or ask for more specific information. A better question to ask is to find out any locally relevant information. Find out if there’s anything you need to know about your route. Learning more about your route can save you a lot of time.

If you can’t get advice about your route, drive around the neighborhood to get a better idea of it during your time off. Familiarizing yourself with your route will make things much easier.

Delivering your mail will also go faster if you have it neat and organized. It makes mail delivery smoother and by extension, faster. There’s many ways you can choose to do this. Casing your mail is important, so take your time and make sure it is ready to go before you leave on your route.

Postal employees are delivering parcels more and more, so loading your packages in an efficient order can be a huge time saver. If you don’t do this, you’ll find yourself unloading parcels onto the street while looking for the ones you need. You’ll also want to do this before you leave on your route.

This one may seem obvious, but use your satchels. Yes, they may be heavy, but it saves you a lot of time to have your satchels with you instead of having to return to your vehicle multiple times, which will slow you down. Carry the mail in bulk in your satchel if you want to move faster.

Between stops you’ll also want to check the addresses of mail. Sorting the mail order beforehand helps you avoid backtracking. If you work on foot this is easy enough to do while doing deliveries. If you drive you have less time for this task, but it’s still possible.

You’ll also want either a map or GPS device to help you while on your route. Until you know your route well, there’s a good chance of you getting lost. Maps can sometimes be outdated, so it is up to you which you’d rather go with. Either way, some type of mapping device is extremely useful and will save you tons of time. But don’t use your phone while on your route beyond this, unless you need to call someone with a question. Distractions slow you down.

As you get to know your route, pay attention to streets that often have a higher volume of mail and parcels. Once you know this you can sort out the high volume streets to make it easier on yourself.

Remember that everyone does things differently, including sorting the mail and loading their vehicle. It will take some experimentation to find what works best for you.

Recognize The Signs of Heat Illness

We’re right in the middle of summer, which means hot temperatures and humidity. Even if you do everything you can to stay cool, heat illness can still happen. That’s why it is so important to know the signs of heat illnesses so that if you’re getting sick, you can take the proper measures before it gets too serious. We’ve outlined the symptoms you need to be aware of to stay safe in hot temperatures.

There are three different types of heat illnesses, and certain risk factors can make you more susceptible to any of them. Certain medications can increase your chances of heat illness, so if you’re on prescriptions it might be wise to check with your doctor. Obesity can affect your body’s ability to cool itself, so take extra care if your weight has been a problem for you. You’ll also want to keep an eye on the heat index, as higher humidity makes it harder to keep cool.

The first of the heat illnesses to pay attention to would be heat cramps. This is the least severe of heat illnesses you can experience. With heat cramps, you will experience muscle cramping and spasms due to sweating in high temperatures or due to heavy exercise. The symptoms are easy to notice. Muscles will become hard and tense, and you will have very painful cramps, typically in your calves. Your skin may also become flushed or moist. If you notice these symptoms, it is important that you move somewhere cool and take a break from your route. Gently stretch the muscles that are cramping and if possible, change clothes. Heat cramps usually do not require medical attention, but it’s a good idea to get in touch with your supervisor to seek advisement.

The next, more serious illness is heat exhaustion. This occurs due to a lack of water and salt in the body, meaning the body is unable to cool itself. Cramping will likely occur with this, but there’s more than that. When one is experiencing heat exhaustion they will likely be faced with nausea, vomiting, fatigue, headaches, and general weakness. You may become confused and dizzy. If this goes untreated it can lead to heat stroke, so it is important to take first aid measures immediately. First, get somewhere cool as quickly as you can. Excess clothing should be removed and you will need to take in fluids, preferably sports drinks. But if you don’t start to feel better, you need to get to the emergency rooms.

And of course, the most dangerous heat illness you can face is heat stroke. This means the body’s system is unable to provide heat regulation because it is overwhelmed. If you are experiencing the following symptoms you need to call 911 immediately. Your skin will feel warm and dry. Nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, and fatigue can all be present. You will have a fever of 104 degrees or more, and you will likely have a rapid heart rate. You may also experience convulsions and even a loss of consciousness. But you don’t want to wait for all of these symptoms before getting to a hospital. If you experience confusion, anxiety, a changed heartbeat, a rise in body temperature, a decrease or sharp increase in sweating, or convulsions, call 911 immediately. And if any of your other symptoms are not alleviated by moving somewhere cool, get to a hospital because heat stroke could be on its way.

Heat illness is nothing to mess around with. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, take the necessary steps to keep yourself safe.

Keep Cool With Postal Accessories

Summer is here and heat waves are starting across the country. While summer uniforms are important for staying cool, there’s more you can do to stay cool if you’re willing to spend a bit of your own money. Shop beyond Postal shorts, caps, and shirts to get the extras you’ll love.

Staying cool in summer can be tough. The bright sun, hot temperatures, and humidity are all working against you. There’s only so much you can do to combat this when you are away from air conditioning. These four products are simple, but extremely helpful when it comes to staying cool during those hot summer months.

Neck Cooling Wrap

Keeping your neck cool can go a long way in helping keep the rest of you cool. This neck cooling wrap works much better than a regular cloth. It can help to keep you cool for up to 72 hours without needing to be chilled. This lightweight wrap is made from 100% cotton. All you have to do is chill it in water or in the freezer before you head out to work.

This blue wrap’s color scheme allows it to easily mesh with the rest of your uniform. The wrap is thin, so you don’t have to deal with bulkiness the way you might have to with a typical cloth. This item is easy to transport, easy to use, and will easily keep you cooler throughout the day.

Bottle Clip

Staying hydrated while on your route is extremely important. If you are a rural letter carrier, you can’t only rely on keeping water in your vehicle. In fact, we recommend that letter carriers keep water with them at all times. That’s where this bottle clip comes in handy. It easily slides behind your belt so you can keep water with you at all times.

From here you can put the nozzle of your water bottle into the slot and push it forward to get a tight lock. This keeps your water secure so it won’t fall off as you walk. Keeping a bottle of cold water with you can do wonders for helping you stay cool.

Bandanna for Carrier Route

If you want more than a cooling wrap for your neck, this bandanna is perfect for you. This cooling bandana can be worn by itself or under your hat to keep your head cool and comfortable throughout your route. How it works is simple; just soak this bandana for 7-9 minutes and you’ll have a bandana that is cool for up to 72 hours.

Wearing this cooling bandana will keep you cool and reduce the risk of heat exhaustion and other heat related illnesses. This small, comfortable bandana, like the neck cooling wrap, is easy to transport and use, making it a great option for the summer.

USPS Bandana

This economic bandana is not designed to stay cool all day, but it will still help you keep cool while you work in the hot sun. This simple bandana measures 22” x 22”. Wear it while on your route to shield you from the sun. Keeping the sun off of your head can go a remarkably long way when it comes to keeping you cool.

The Postal logo is imprinted in the corner of the bandana, making it fit in perfectly with the rest of your USPS uniform. The white color also won’t soak in the sun’s rays!

Tips For New Letter Carriers

Maybe you’ve just been hired as a full time letter carrier, or maybe you’re starting off as a CCA. No matter the circumstance, starting a new job is always stressful, especially when you’re carrying the mail. We’ve got some tips for new employees that will help you get situated at your new job.

Stick with it. The job is going to be much harder than you are expecting. You will be faced with high expectations, bad weather, rude customers, dogs, confusing routes, and more. It would be easy to give up, but if you stick with the job, you will eventually get used to all of these things. You’ll learn how to deal with the weather and dogs, ignore rude customers, and your routes will become less confusing. This is something that simply comes from experience.

Don’t complain. If you are new to the work, it is likely you will want to complain quite a lot, about how exhausting the job is, the dogs you have to watch for, and the weather. But your new co-workers have gone through it all before, and deal with it on a daily basis. Just remember this was part of the package when you accepted the job. Having a good attitude about it can make your time working much more pleasant.

Take extra care when delivering in darkness. There are many dangers that come with night delivery, and you will likely face them. The most dangerous thing you have to watch out for is injury due to a lack of visibility. This may be because you fail to see obstacles or obstacles, such as vehicles, fail to see you. Be very careful when walking across lawns, on stairs, and in the street. While attacks on letter carriers are not common, criminal activity is more likely to occur at night, so be cautious.

Take extra care if you work in an area with high crime. An attack on you would be a federal offense. Just because you work in a high crime area doesn’t mean you are going to be attacked. But you could be targeted for mail, packages, or even your vehicle. Park your vehicle in a high traffic area, and keep it locked. Just keep your eyes open for suspicious behavior. Don’t be afraid to report it if you feel unsafe.

Remember you do not have to deliver the mail if it is not safe. If there is ice on the stairs, a loose dog running around, or other hazardous conditions, you should not risk injury to deliver the mail. Fill out the appropriate paperwork to indicate the problem.

Take care of yourself in all types of weather. We’re sure you’ve already looked for advice about delivering mail in the rain or snow, but don’t forget about other types of weather. Working in the sun all day doesn’t have the potential to lead only to sunburn, but skin cancer. Take care to apply sunscreen, and take other precautions as necessary to stay safe in all types of conditions.

These are just a few tips to help prepare you for your new career. We hope that we’re able to help, and that you find the job to be fulfilling and rewarding!

Everything You Need to Know About Dog Bites

You’ve of course been warned about the danger of dog bites while on the job, but since National Dog Bite Awareness Week has just passed, we thought we’d give you some facts and tips about dealing with dogs.

The first thing to remember while you’re out working is that any dog is capable of biting. Maybe it’s a tiny, furry puppy, a large, angry dog, or a dog that has been friendly with you before. Never forget that any dog can bite, and so be wary whenever you see dogs on your route.

The next thing to keep in mind is that no matter the injury, it needs to be reported and you need to be checked out. Maybe the dog barely nicked your skin, and maybe it actually attacked you. No matter the case, you have to be safe and get the bite looked at. Thousands of people are bitten by dogs each year, though luckily only a small amount of those people die because of it. Be safe, and get the bite checked if you get one.

Of course the goal is to not get any dog bites, so how do you do this? Well you’ll want to stay away from any dogs you see. Be aware. Listen for any unusual growling. Keep an eye on fences in yards. Even dogs on leashes can be dangerous so be sure to be cautious.

If a dog does start to approach, stay still and quiet. Running away or yelling is only going to rile the dog up. Back away slowly and keep an eye on the dog to see if it follows. If it attacks, your best defense is to fend it off with your mail satchel. Keep it between you and the dog as much as you can. You can of course use dog repellant, but try to get the bag in front of you first. It gives more protection in case you miss the dog.

And if the dog does get you on the ground, protect your head and neck. Curling into a ball gives the dog less places to bite.

Don’t forget that if you feel threatened by a dog on a property, you do not have to deliver the mail to said property. The owner of the dog can pick up mail at the post office until it is guaranteed the dog is kept somewhere where it cannot attack. If the dog is regularly unleashed, you can even stop delivering to the area altogether. Your safety is your top priority.

6,755 postal employees were attacked by dogs this year. That number has continued to rise throughout the years, making it even more important now to stay vigilant.  If you’re still worried about dog bites, check to see if there’s any training in your area, or ask your supervisor and other letter carriers for additional tips.

If you want something with you in case of an attack, check out our letter carrier safety products on our website!

Our Favorite Rain Gear

April is just around the corner, meaning a lot of rain while out on your routes. Today we’re featuring our favorite rain gear that will help keep you dry!

Our first choice is the Postal Rainwear 42” Long Coat.

This long coat is designed to keep more of your body dry than a standard jacket or parka. Use a detachable hood so you can easily remove it when the rain slows down. This coat also features reflective postal ribbons, so you can stay seen and safe even in the pouring rain. This coat is easy to put on and remove, so you can even leave it in your vehicle until you need it.

If you don’t want such a long garment, you may like the Postal Rainwear Lined Parka.

The parka keeps less of you dry, but can be less cumbersome to wear than a long coat. It features a zipper front along with snap closures to keep you extra warm and dry on chilly, wet days. Like our long coat, it is designed with reflective postal ribbons to increase your safety. This parka also has an attached roll-up hood, so there’s no need to attach or detach anything to keep your head dry.

If you choose to stick with a shorter coat, you may want Postal Rainwear Trousers.

Not only will these trousers keep you dry, they’ll keep you comfortable. They are made with an elastic waistband, fly front, take up snaps on the waist, AND slash openings on the sides so they can slip over shoes with ease. Like our other rain gear, these trousers feature postal reflective ribbons. Pairing these with the right jacket will keep you as dry as possible on your route.

One of our absolute favorites is the Postal Rainwear 35” Long Cape.

This cape keeps the rain off not only you, but your mail. Simply slip this on, attach it to your coat, and keep your mail safe and dry inside. This is the perfect item to keep in your vehicle for impromptu rain showers, since it is a simple addition to your uniform. The reflective postal ribbon is on this cape as well. It’s a favorite among letter carriers for rainy conditions!

The last item we’re featuring is the Postal Rainwear Detachable Hood.

This item, like all the rain gear we’ve featured here today, is certified by the United States Navy Clothing and Textile Facility. You can snap it onto raincoats so you have a rain repellent hood whenever you need it. The sizing is universal, so you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect one for your head. This is a great addition to our other rain gear items to keep you extra dry.

Ice Safety

Winter isn’t quite over yet, and as temperatures start to warm up you may actually start to see more ice while on your route due to freezing rain. Slipping and falling can cause serious injury, especially if you fall on stairs or while on the road. We have some tips that will help you stay safe while trekking across ice.

Wear the appropriate footwear for ice. This may mean investing in the right shoes, or paying for ice cleats for extra safety while walking. If the soles or heels of your shoes are smooth, you need new ones for icy conditions.

Stick to sidewalks. It’s not uncommon to take shortcuts across lawns, but doing so when there’s snow and ice can lead to injury. You have no way of knowing what obstacles, including ice, are hidden under the snow.

Watch where you are stepping, not the mail. Being distracted for a few seconds can result in a painful fall.

If you are walking on ice, take short, small steps and move slowly, almost like you are shuffling. If you’re moving too fast it’s easy to lose your balance and have your foot slip out from under you.

Walk so you’re slightly bent forward, and try to keep your center of gravity as fully on your feet as possible.

Always hold on to a railing if one is available when climbing stairs. It will keep you steady on your way up.

Be careful when exiting or entering your vehicle. Use the car as support when you step either in or out.

Watch out for black ice. Any surface that appears wet can be black ice during the winter months, so approach with caution.

Follow these tips to stay as safe as possible during winter!

Warm Your Hands and Head

We’re right in the middle of winter, and it’s clear that keeping warm is important. Having a warm, reliable coat of some kind is usually the first thing on people’s minds, but there are other body parts you have to keep in mind as well. Your head and your hands can quickly and easily get cold, which can make the rest of you feel cold pretty quickly as well.

To keep your hands warm in winter, you need good gloves. These gloves should generally be thick, waterproof, and lined for warmth. For cold days you’ll want hats that cover the ears snugly, so no wind can get to them. We want to feature some of our best hats and gloves that will keep you warm for the rest of winter.

Postal Thinsulate Winter Gloves

This form fitting glove is lined with insulation for extra warmth on those cold winter days. The waterproof bladder keeps the water out and your hands dry. These gloves are designed with a sewn-in pocket for hand warmers so you can stay extra toasty. The fleece cuff keeps the wind and water out. This is a great glove for cold, snowy conditions.

 

Winter Trooper Cap

Keep your ears warm with this fur-lined Trooper cap! The fur is sure to keep you toasty through the snow and wind. This cap is designed with ear flaps that can be used for added warmth on those very cold days. The cap features the USPS insignia patch on the front, making you easily identifiable while on your route. You can be sure you’re getting the quality you expect, as it is made here in the USA.

 

WaterProof Winter Gloves

These gloves are specifically designed for cold, wet, wintery conditions. These gloves have triple layer technology to keep your hands warm, dry, and comfortable. They are 100% waterproof and windproof to keep the cold out, while the micro-fleece liner keeps warmth in. This is the perfect all-purpose winter work glove!

 

Postal Hat with Facemask

This knit postal hat will keep you warm in cold conditions. It comes with an attached face mask which can be tucked away or pulled down to keep the wind off your face. This hat features the USPS insignia patch on the front of the hat to make you easily identifiable. Get a quality hat you can count on when you invest in this union made product!

 

Lake Effect Waterproof Gloves

Use these Lake Effect Waterproof gloves to keep your hands dry and comfortable even in the wettest conditions. They feature Hydroblok, which is a breathable but waterproof membrane inside the durable woven shell. These gloves have superior gripping and Thinsulation insulation to keep the gloves soft and warm.

 

 

These products are sure to keep your head and hands warm, dry, and comfortable this winter. Stay warm out there!




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