Pa. (WETM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is asking the public to prepare for snow storms by winterizing their mailboxes.

According to PennDOT, making sure that mailboxes are properly prepared for winter ensures that mail and snow plowing services can run more efficiently. Additionally, if a mailbox isn’t accessible to mail carriers, the resident will have to pick up their mail from the post office.

To prevent any mail delivery issues, PennDOT recommends that property owners take a few actions to ensure that their mailboxes won’t be blocked or damaged during the winter. Property owners should make sure their mailboxes have strong supports, and the mailbox supports should be checked throughout the winter to ensure they’re still holding up. Property owners should consider using reflective tape or other reflective materials on their mailboxes to make them easier to see in the dark and during storms.

If an old or damaged mailbox needs to be replaced, make sure it’s in the right location. Curbside mailboxes are typically placed as far from the shoulder of the road as a mail carrier can reach from inside their vehicle. Mailboxes can be placed within legal right-of-way property if necessary. If you aren’t sure what the proper location of your mailbox is, ask your local post office.

Residents will need to clear the area around their mailboxes whenever there is a snowstorm. People whose mailboxes aren’t curbside will need to clear a path to their boxes. Cleared snow needs to be disposed of properly and should never be placed on the road.

Homeowners are responsible for any damage their mailboxes sustain. If someone has followed all of PennDOT’s tips for maintaining mailboxes and still has issues with damage, PennDOT recommends investing in a mailbox with a swinging cantilever support.

For more information about getting ready for winter, visit PennDOT’s website.