• Emergency Response Guide
    Suspicious Mail – Powdery Substance

    Many facilities in communities around the country have received anthrax threat letters. Most were empty envelopes; some have contained powdery substances. The overwhelming majority have been false alarms. The purpose of these guidelines is to recommend procedures for handling such incidents.

    First, do not panic – while we want to remain vigilant, we should not overreact or panic.

    How to Identify Suspicious Mail
    • No return address
    • Possibly mailed from a foreign country
    • Excessive postage
    • Restrictive markings like “Personal” or “Special Delivery”
    • Misspelled information in the address
    • Addressed to a title, rather than an individual
    • Uneven in shape, rigid or bulky packaging
    • Oily stains, discoloration or crystallization on the packaging
    • Excessive tape or string

    What Employees Should Do

    • Remain calm.
    • Direct someone to call the Triton College Police Department at x3206
    • Don’t shake, open, smell or taste the item or any visible residue.
    • Isolate the item and do not try to clean up any spilled powder.
    • Avoid further contact with the mail or package suspected of contamination.
    • Evacuate the immediate area, but have everyone who was in the immediate area stay in a group until police arrive.
    • Try not to touch surfaces, such as doorknobs, chairs, tables, phones, etc.
    • List all people who have touched the letter and/or package.
    • Follow through with recommendations by police, fire and health care officials.
    • Be prepared to surrender personal items, including clothing, until same can be decontaminated.
    • Wash your hands vigorously for five minutes with soap and water.

    For more information about Anthrax, see the Center for Disease Control website at:http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/