In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has three primary objectives: to reconnect, respond and reestablish. According to Azeezaly Jaffer, vp-public affairs and communication, the Postal Service wants to reconnect with customers who have been displaced and find employees who have been evacuated, followed by efforts to reestablish regular mail delivery and retail service.

Customers in the Gulf States who are unable to receive mail at their permanent address should file a change of address notice with USPS--either online at www.usps.com, or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). To date, more than 36,000 hurricane victims have filed such notices.

USPS has assigned ZIP Code 77230 to the Houston Astrodome for general mail delivery to victims of Hurricane Katrina, and is working to set up special ZIP codes for other sites being used to house evacuees, Jaffer said.

Employees of the Postal Service who live in the areas pummeled by Katrina are being asked to call toll-free 877-477-3273 to help USPS gauge their current situation, get payroll checks, and eventually get mail service back up and running.

When and where it is safe to do so, the Postal Service is reentering storm-damaged areas to reopen Post Offices and restore mail delivery and service, said Jaffer. Mobile retail centers will be set up to serve customer needs. A color-coded map on the USPS web site shows the status of Post Offices that have been affected by Katrina.

To discuss the Katrina disaster and its effect on the trucking industry or share your experiences, please visit FleetOwner's Katrina Blog at blog.fleetowner.com/katrina.

To view the archive of FleetOwner’s ongoing Katrina news coverage, go to www.fleetowner.com/katrina.