NYC Considers Using Letter Carriers to Deliver Medicine During Attack

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The Cities Readiness Initiative sets aside money for the U.S. Postal Service to recruit, train and equip volunteer mail carriers to deliver drugs from the strategic national stockpile. The original version of this story was incorrect.

New York is one of 10 cities expressing interest in having postal workers deliver medicine to homes within 48 hours of a terrorist attack, according to news reports.

The Cities Readiness Initiative, a federal program, sets aside $12 million for the U.S. Postal Service to recruit, train and equip volunteer mail carriers to deliver drugs from the strategic national stockpile, the country's emergency supply of drugs and medical equipment.

Carriers who volunteer would be contacted by phone in an emergency and directed to a designated depot where they would be given the appropriate medicine and provided protective gear. When possible, carriers would be assigned to their normal mail routes. In delivering to high-rise buildings, carriers would not go door to door, but would leave the medicine and printed directions in residents' mailboxes.

New York City officials and postal service representatives are discussing details, including the possibility of using the police to protect carriers delivering the medicine.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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