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 Ext. 3206. • 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/anthrax/
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