Carrier Alert grew out of different initiatives that existed in several cities during the early 1980s. An identification sticker was placed in the mailbox to identify those individuals who lived alone as seniors or were handicapped living alone. These programs provided these patrons with a pledge that their letter carrier would monitor any collection of their delivered mail and report any backlog of mail to a contact person.
The patron would agree that they would daily remove any delivered mail and not allow any accumulation of mail to occur in their mailbox. If mail did collect, the Postal Service would notify the appropriate support agency of the backlog and this agency would attempt to contact the patron to ascertain either that they were okay or that they needed assistance. If contact was not possible, then one of the social service agencies involved in the program would visit the home to check on their well-being.
This program is a very much needed opportunity for those senior or handicapped “live alone” individuals to feel secure in their homes.
Below you'll find objectives, principles and ground rules that will assist you in the implementation should your branch decide to join in this venture. Click here to read the NALC/USPS agreement on this program.
- To offer a community service to elderly and handicapped persons
- To enhance the public image of the U.S. Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers
- To offer an opportunity for local union and management representatives to work on a cooperative program
- Carrier Alert program administration, including soliciting and accepting applications, is performed by the local sponsoring community service agency. Postal participation cannot take place until the sponsoring agency fulfills its responsibilities. The Carrier Alert files shall be maintained by the sponsoring agency, particularly the applications and statements of release. They must be made available to the Postal Service upon request.
- Participation in Carrier Alert is voluntary.
- Postal participation in Carrier Alert will be directed jointly by local postal management and local NALC branch leadership.
- The cost of administering Carrier Alert at the local level, such as printing, promotion and record-keeping, shall be borne by the local sponsoring agency.
- Participation by postal personnel is voluntary. There will be no additional compensation for Carrier Alert activities.
- Any publicity or promotion material used shall be subject to the review and approval of the Postal Service. It is important that registrants and social service agencies understand the limitations of Carrier Alert. The use of phrases in promotional material which indicate that lifesaving or rescue services are provided, references which imply an obligation to “look after,” “protect” or “rescue” a customer, denote a degree of involvement not contemplated by Carrier Alert. Also, statements that letter carriers make “daily checks” for mail accumulation should not be used, since no delivery is provided on Sundays or holidays. Additionally, a check for accumulation of mail is only made on days when a customer receives mail.
- Carrier Alert is a reassurance and notification service and should not be confused with any community crime prevention program.
- A registrant must have a mailbox to be eligible for Carrier Alert.
- Registrants serviced by letter carriers who do not wish to participate in Carrier Alert will not be eligible for Carrier Alert.
- Local procedures should be developed for the following:
- The notification to the post office and carrier of new registrants.
- Creating and affixing the identification decal to a registrant’s mailbox.
- Identification of what constitutes an accumulation of mail which would prompt a call to the social service agency for follow up.
- Method for reporting mail accumulation to the local social service agency.