By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When the snow is falling, people are shoveling, PennDOT and New Jersey DOT are plowing, but you need to take steps to protect your mailbox, too, if you would like to receive your mail in the stormy weather.

US Postal Service spokesperson Cathy Yarosky says that carriers over the years have suffered injuries from tripping on snowy walkways trying to reach the mail slot in your door, and for those who have a mailbox by the road, she says you need to take steps, too.

“Clear enough snow that will allow our mail trucks to approach the box, deliver the mail, and drive away,” Yarosky says, “without the need for backing up.”

Clearing away additional snow from the front of your mailbox will take the pressure off the post, so when the next PennDOT plow or local municipality plow comes through, the chances are less likely that your mailbox will be knocked down.

“When you are shoveling your driveway,” says PennDOT spokesperson Charles Metzger, “clear an area on the street approaching the mailbox which will give the snow from the snowplow a place to go.”

Putting too much pressure on the post causes it to collapse, so Metzger suggests residents construct a cantilevered mailbox. (see image below)

(credit: PennDOT)

(credit: PennDOT)

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