A hurricane or forest fire is mentioned in the news – how will it affect your shipment?  Is there a way to stay ahead of the game and find out where and when the USPS mail service will be affected?

Post Offices can be affected by anything from fires, tornadoes, and power outages, to flooding, falling debris, and roof replacement projects.  International shipments can be affected by wars, political instability, labor strikes, and natural disasters.

The U.S. Postal Service provides an information hub for all mail disruptions at:

Getting Local and National Updates 
On a national level, you can access detailed information about which delivery units are not accepting drop shipments or whether your Post Office is open today.  If your Post Office is temporarily closed, the USPS will provide information on which facilities are handling the mail volume for that location in the meantime.  Usually, a nearby Post Office will handle the mail temporarily for the area.  In some cases, temporary cluster box units may be installed to provide delivery service to local residents, or if you use a PO Box, your mail will be sent to a box at another Post Office.

You can also access detailed Mail Service Disruption Reports, and you can find out whether service was suspended due to a power outage or road closure, for example, or due to a fire or flood.  The option of “USPS facilities status” will provide information on whether your facility is slated to be permanently closed.  

International Mail Disruptions 
For mail being sent to international addresses, this helpful page will provide information such as which services are suspended or restored for countries affected by unfortunate events, such as wars or natural disasters.  Mail addressed to a country seriously affected by hostilities may be returned to you so it is important to stay abreast of any issues abroad.

Keep Your Customers Updated
When you are shipping packages to domestic or international customers and a delay is expected, contact the recipient as soon as you learn about any disruptions so they are aware of possible delays to their shipments.  Your customers will not only appreciate you keeping them in the loop but this practice will also help avoid customer complaints and negative reviews about your business.

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