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What to Do in an Emergency?

poster for mailrooms about suspicious mailSuspicious Packages

Download and display this poster [pdf] in your mailroom or other common areas. (From the USPS.)

Some signs of 'suspicious' mail are:

  • address or return address looks unusual or is written in an unusual fashion or style
  • letter is bulky, sealed, or taped in an unusual way
  • letter or package is stained or leaking material of some sort
  • excessive postage or origination from overseas

Suspected Foreign Substance

For a situation where a person who has opened mail suspects that he/she has been contaminated, or the object is emitting or leaking some foreign substance:

1. A person who opens a suspicious package and thinks he/she has been contaminated should:

  • avoid inhaling or touching his/her face
  • immediately put the package down in his/her work area
  • cover it with a container (e.g., trashcan) or use a piece of paper, newspaper, envelope, or file folder to cover the suspicious item if nothing else is available

2. This person should then exit his/her office, closing the door on the way out, and ask a co-worker to:

  • call 911 to advise of a suspicious package with possible contamination
  • place an "Off Limits" sign on person's door
  • notify the person's supervisor (if readily available)
  • call SLAC Security (x2551)
  • place an "Off Limits" sign on the restroom to which the potentially-contaminated person is traveling to wash up

3. The co-worker should then pull the fire alarm while exiting, so that the building will be evacuated.

4. The potentially-contaminated person should then go to the restroom or janitor's closet area to wash his/her hands with soap and water before exiting the building. He/she should stand apart from others and communicate in some way to the building manager so that the PAFD hazmat team will know who needs de-contaminating.

Suspicious without Foreign Substance

If the letter or envelope or package looks suspicious or "funny," but there is no sign of a foreign substance, the individual should:

  • leave the area along with any others and close the door if possible
  • notify his/her supervisor. If the supervisor cannot be located then call SLAC Security (x2551)
  • wait outside his/her work area for supervisor or Security. Keep others from entering the area.

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