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9/24/13: EC Senior Services Takes Part in "Carrier Alert" Program


ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Commissioner of Senior Services Randy Hoak announced the re-institution of the “Carrier Alert” program in Erie County. A collaboration between the Department of Senior Services (“the Department”) and the U.S. Postal Service (“USPS”), Carrier Alert is a program allowing letter carriers to notify the Department in the event of accumulating mail or other signs of distress at the home of a citizen enrolled in the program. Begun in 1982, Carrier Alert partners the USPS with local service agencies across the U.S. to offer a measure of security to homebound citizens.

“Participation in ‘Carrier Alert’ is a great way to provide peace of mind for families who may not be able to visit their homebound relatives as often as they would like, or for any family with an older relative living at home alone,” said Commissioner Hoak. “Residents who are registered for the program will have someone, a letter carrier, visiting the house each day and looking for signs of accumulating mail, disarray in the house, or similar signs of distress. If signs indicate a problem, the letter carrier will contact their supervisor, who will then contact the Department. This free service is a  good partnership and has helped thousands of citizens across the country receive assistance when they needed it.”

Interested postal customers should register themselves, along with emergency contact information, with the Post Office. Upon registration, emergency contact information will be maintained by the Department/NYCONNECTS and a decal will be placed on the customer’s mailbox. Letter carriers will watch the customer’s mail for any sign of distress such as an unusual accumulation. Should such an event occur, it will prompt the letter carrier to notify their supervisor and then the Department/NYCONNECTS during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM. If the customer cannot be reached, emergency contacts will be notified. If an emergency contact cannot be reached, local law enforcement agencies will be notified to check on the customer’s health and well-being.

Partnering with the Erie County Department of Senior Services and the United States Postal Service on “Carrier Alert” are the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association, Branch 3 of the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the AARP.

For more information on the Carrier Alert Program, please contact the Erie County Department of Senior Services/NYCONNECTS at (716) 858-8526.