How to defer your mail after a disaster strikes

No matter what type of natural disaster you and your loved ones have been through, the experience can be quite overwhelming. From cleaning up your home to making sure you and your family can get back to a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible, there are a lot of to-dos you need to address to get on the road to recovery. If you aren't able to return to your home, one of those to-dos is to hold or forward your mail during this difficult time. Here are some tips to help defer your mail after a disaster strikes.

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1. Check for service disruption alerts

Whether your area experienced a tornado, hurricane, snow storm or earthquake, The United States Postal Service (USPS) has a website called Service Alerts where it lists any areas affected by natural disasters and other events that might affect mail service. Make sure to check this website or call the USPS at 1-800-275-8777 to figure out if your area is under a disruption alert. The USPS can then tell you when it believes service will be restored or which post offices you can go to for further help or questions on holding your mail or changing your address.

2. Ask for the post office to hold your mail

Once you've figured out if your local post office is still operating, you can submit an online request for that office to hold or forward your mail, says You can also remove the hold once you would like to have mail service restored back to your home.

3. Submit a change of address form

If you know you'll be living in a temporary place for awhile after a disaster, you can submit an online change of address form to have your mail forwarded to a new temporary address, says This can help you receive your mail while you're waiting for your residence to be repaired or rebuilt.

Getting your mail is just one way to feel like your life is returning to normal after a major weather event. With these tips, you should be able to reroute your mail for the time being so you can still receive your important correspondence during this trying time.