The Postal Service: An Essential Building Block

Do you know you can’t spell “essential services” without “Postal Service?” Okay, actually you can, but we are kicking off this blog series by looking at the important role the Postal Service has played providing essential services to our nation.

You may not know it, but the USPS has served as the catalyst for developing many of our nation’s essential networks. Looking at transportation: Our national roads, railroad systems, and even airlines were kicked off by a need to transport mail around the country as efficiently as possible. The Postal Service allowed our nation’s first media network – newspapers — to share stories from one newspaper to another by sending copies of newspapers to each other through the mail for free. At one point, post offices even provided financial services with a postal savings system designed to serve the population.

The Postal Service serves as a foundation for services offered by every level of government, whether federal, state, or local. Due to its national reach and presence, it’s often the only personal point of contact people have with the federal government. The Postal Service works closely with other agencies in providing passport services, getting Census Bureau surveys out to the public, and sending and receiving absentee ballots.

The USPS network, reaching every household every day, makes it essential when disaster strikes. No matter the catastrophe – hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and more – the Postal Service has contingency plans to recover and restart delivery, even when whole populations move elsewhere. During the recent pandemic, postal carriers have continued to deliver necessary supplies, as households have relied more and more on mail to get everything from cleaning supplies to medicines. And the Postal Service plays an essential logistical role in national disasters for other agencies. In fact, in federal epidemic planning, it is tasked with delivering vaccines and other medications.

Tell us what you think. What do you think about the essential services the Postal Service provides to our nation?

CONTINUE READING AT » USPS Office of Inspector General
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