There aren't many things that will stop a letter carrier from completing his or her appointed rounds. But an injury caused by ice and snow-covered walks and approaches could be one of them.
Fortunately, that is easily prevented when customers keep a few simple things in mind.
"We really appreciate when people clear the path to their mailbox," Brazil Postmaster Dianna Egold said. "Whether their letter carrier delivers on foot or from their vehicle, it's much safer and quicker for them when customers shovel the snow and de-ice the walkways."
According to Egold, customers should check the area surrounding their mailbox daily to be sure no ice has built up. Just because there is only a dusting of snow doesn't mean that there isn't a hazard lurking underneath the snow.
"Many times there is a patch of ice under the snowy spot," Egold said. "The carrier can't see it and could slip."
For roadside boxes, customers should clear any piles created by snowplows that makes it difficult for a carrier to reach the box from the delivery vehicle. This is a problem especially as the winter season wears on.
"Each time it snows, the pile from the plows gets bigger and eventually it prevents the delivery vehicle from pulling up alongside the box," Egold said. "Then, it turns to ice and is very difficult to remove."
Egold suggests a quick shovel after every snowfall to ensure uninterrupted mail delivery.
"We know how much people look forward to receiving their mail, and we want to deliver it safely all through the winter," Egold said.