Proposed bill would allow Utah to enlist letter carriers to assist responders during natural disasters

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A state lawmaker is proposing a bill that enlists your local postal worker to help out in the case of a natural disaster or an emergency.

“I think it's landmark for the state of Utah,” said Karen Mayne, a Democrat who represents District 5 and serves as the Minority Whip in the Utah Senate.

Mayne is running a bill that would draft U.S. Postal Service employees to help out in emergency situations and natural disasters, like an earthquake.

“They would be support for our first responders, because if there was an earthquake, or anything like that, they know the community,” Mayne said.

Mayne says postal workers know the neighborhoods. If there's a problem in one particular area, she said they could call them up by zip code to provide information on who lives where, if a house is vacant, or if someone needs medicine.

“They know the community,” Mayne said. “They know where Sally lives, they deliver medicine to Sally.”

The senator says she's been having conversations with Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz and the Letter Carrier's Union about how to get this program off the ground.

She's planning a bill for the 2016 legislative session. If it passes the legislature, it would be a first-of-its-kind initiative in the nation.

“That's the goal, that's what we're hoping, is that it's going to save time and lives,” said Chad Mortensen of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Mortensen said, at the very least, they can provide information to emergency responders in a situation like an earthquake.

He said: “We're already out on the street, we know the area: How can we not help?”


  • postalnutz

    As long as the carriers meet their street times that are given them the post office won’t mind lending a helping hand but don’t you dare go over your allowed street time for the day or it’s going to hit the fan!

  • Gone Postal

    Obviously she has no clue about the postal service. Carriers are maximum of about 50% of postal employees. Their job is to deliver mail. Im betting they would help out if somthing happened, but you can’t force them. The nalcu and the rural carrier union will not allow it. Leave these people alone, they already have enough b.s. to worry about.

    I know the likelyhood of something happening is slim to none, but the 1st thing they will need to worry about is keeping their mail secure.

  • Trixie

    Letter Carriers are an important part of the community, this is a natural extension of what they do every day.

  • grannybunny

    State legislation will not accomplish the desired purpose. Federal legislation would be needed. Since they’re communicating with Congressman Chaffetz, he should have told them that.

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