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Snail mail

One think that I’m not clear on in my own mind is what will happen to long distance postal deliveries after an event? Will we revert to something like the pony express, will we end up sending our own people out with items or will it be something else?

The need for long distance communications would be for comfort mainly and to keep family members in touch as we wouldn’t be ordering much from remote places. Some of us will be able to use the radios we are putting aside and keep in touch that way but eventually there will be someone you have not set up a schedule with or you will lose contact with someone. It is inevitable, radios break, conditions are not suitable and people just lose track. Plus, you cannot send any items via that medium.

So what about those that have not put aside radios, those that have lost touch or those with something to send? What are they going to do? Maybe it is me but I see it being a long time before a postal type service is set up. Obviously, if you are close enough you would send someone to actually visit and make arrangements or pass on your item. If a bit further away you may pay someone with transport to do that for you or arrange a longer trip yourself.

However, what if you are neither rich nor can spare the time to go on this, potentially dangerous, trek? At first I would guess you would have to do without unless you were lucky enough to know someone who was going to that area. The rich would be reliant on a third party who is delivering their messages as part of a job and just for them. A bit like the pony express. These people would then expand and cover anyone who wanted to send an item more like a modern day postman but point to point rather than via a sorting office.

Now, eventually, I would see each area setting up a post office type delivery system for local business mail. Someone would pick up the mail and collect a fee and it would be delivered to anyone in that local area. Eventually, these would link up with other local mail offices and the network would expand as trade for items not available locally demanded it. Person to person mail would be able to piggy back on that as the local offices sought more customers.

The problem is that I just can’t see people using a mail system like that even after an event. The single item being taken in a courier type way but not a post office type system. I watched the movie ‘The Postman’ and thought that what were the chances he would survive the journeys, especially with the distances in the US, never mind the chances he would find anyone at all on his list. I know it is a film and thus needs a bit of leeway but converting it to real life makes me think that it wouldn’t work.

So my conclusion, make sure you set up schedules with your remote relatives and have the it to do so, make sure that you have the means to travel significant distances and transport goods and accept that you will lose touch with remote relatives after a while.

Sad but I don’t see another option unless, of course, you want to be a Postman.

2 comments to Snail mail

  • Northern Raider

    I covered this topic quite a while back, I found the general consensus was regional letter drops at PA RVs IE if you want to leave a message for Joe Bloggs in Exter leave it posted to a physical bullitin board at the areas bi annual RVs ?

  • Timelord

    Letters may well piggyback on new trade routes, so respected traders would receive a small fee to deliver the letters on to their single or multiple destinations. This would probably be fairly localised to start off with, but as trade links spread, then the messages would pass on down the line. I think this is most likely the way the postal service originated in the US anyway. It would evolve throughout the transition from immediate post chaos to more settled times — If at all?

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