The U.S. Postal Service has issued the following guidelines for handling suspicious mail in light of the recent anthrax attacks:
What constitutes a suspicious letter or parcel?
Some typical characteristics that ought to trigger suspicion include letters or parcels that:
– Have any powdery substance on the outside.
– Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
– Have excessive postage, handwritten or poorly typed address, incorrect titles or titles with no name, or misspellings of common words.
– Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
– Have no return address, or have one that can’t be verified as legitimate.
– Are of unusual weight, given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
– Have an unusual amount of tape.
– Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as “Personal” or “Confidential.”
– Have strange odors or stains.
What should you do if you receive an anthrax threat by mail?
– Do not handle the mail piece or package suspected of contamination.
– Make sure that damaged or suspicious packages are isolated and the immediate area cordoned off.
– Ensure that all persons who have touched the mail piece wash their hands with soap and water.
– Notify your local law enforcement authorities.
– List all persons who have touched the letter and/or envelope. Include contact information and have this information available for the authorities.
– Place all items worn when in contact with the suspected mail piece in plastic bags and have them available for law enforcement agents.
– As soon as practical, shower with soap and water.
– Notify the Center for Disease Control Emergency Response at 770-488-7100 for answers to any questions.