Packages and letters that may contain explosives or chemical or biological agents.
Identify typical characteristics (identified by postal inspectors) which ought to trigger suspicion, including parcels that:
- Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you
- Have no return address, or have one that can’t be verified as legitimate
- Have protruding wires or aluminum foil, strange odors, or stains
- Show a city or state in the postmark that doesn’t match the return address
- Are of unusual weight given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped
- Are marked with threatening language
- Have inappropriate or unusual labeling
- Have excessive postage or packaging material, (masking tape and string)
- Have misspellings of common words
- Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or otherwise outdated
- Have incorrect titles or titles without a name
- Are not addressed to a specific person
- Have hand-written or poorly typed addresses
General Staff Assignments
- Be particularly cautious in the mail handling area and refrain from eating or drinking in that area.
- Do not open any mail item that appears suspicious.
- Isolate the suspicious mail item and place it in a plastic bag or container and seal it.
- If you do not have a bag or container, then cover the mail item with anything (e.g. clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
- Ensure that all persons who have touched the mail item wash their hands with soap and water.
- Activate your emergency plan and notify a supervisor.
- Train staff and volunteers who handle mail about characteristics of suspicious packages.
- Post list of characteristics of suspicious packages in mail room.