LPOs Assistance for Bushfire Impact
For hundreds of LPOs 2020 has not started out quite as expected. The widespread bushfires have had a dramatic impact over most of the eastern seaboard and in many other locations in SA and WA.
We have had many calls from Licensees wondering what assistance is available to assist in the short to long term. The short answer so far is unclear because this is such a unique situation, and many Licensees have not been able to get back into their towns, to even assess the damage. Many communities in the NSW south coast still do not have power, or comms, so even getting messages out is not possible. Their priority at presents is food, clothing and shelter. The LPO will be ranking on the to-do list as a future issue.
I am one of those Licensees, as the LPO is located in a town that is still in lock down while all the roads surround the town are checked for fire, fallen trees, fallen or damaged power lines, dead or injured animals and livestock, and clearing general debris.
Deliver all over these fire impact areas will be restricted, delayed or just not happening. In many locations the police road blocks will be the indicators for that notice. It will assist for planning purposes if you are able to let your RNP team know if you are not open, or needing to reduce your hours due to restricted power supply or other issues, please do so ASAP so it can be communicated to those that need to know. We have requested Australia Post publish a list of impacted postcodes on POP, so that we may all have something to refer to when asked at our counters. Obviously the list will need to be dynamic, and can be updated as sites across the fire impacted states progress back into action, but it will be a place to start understanding what is happening for those on the outside.
However, when a community is isolated by events such as this, it is usually the restoration of work at the Post Office that is the place a lot of people see as the start of the road to recovery. They will be comforted by getting their mail because it is a link to the outside world, so as the saying goes, we must try to get the mail through ASAP.
Probably, for most impacted Licensees the pressing issue will be our pending stock bills. COD or direct debit. If your LPO is shut, or your town is focused on recovery, business will be far from normal. Again the best start is to email your RNP team and seek a payment delay, and then a plan of action to tide you over.
As soon as Licensees impacted by these fires understand their situations, and can identify what will help to re-establish your outlet, please reach out via email to your RNP team and CC email@example.com, so the recovery can be coordinated, and a better understanding for any such future events can be put in place. At present we can only be reactive and responsive, rather than have help prepared as we really don't have a lot of information about what will be needed. You may need fixtures and fittings for badly damaged shops, or it may just be smoke damage, and its tub of sugar soap and cleaning equipment that will help most. This is a situation that many of us have never experienced, so we must be guided by those in the middle who will have a better understanding of what is needed to make it easier to cope.
Our thoughts are with you all, and now is a great time to lean on your LPO community mates to help you through this.
If LPOGroup can assist please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do all we can to support you.
On behalf of us all - we are thinking of you.