II. Suspicious Item Characteristics

  1. Excessive weight
  2. Protruding wires or foil
  3. Unusual labeling
    1. Excessive postage
    2. Handwritten or poorly typed address
    3. Strange return address or no return address
    4. Incorrect title or title without a name
    5. No specific person as addressee
    6. Restrictions on package (e.g. Personal, Confidential)
    7. Threatening language on envelope
    8. Postmark does not match return address location
  4. Unusual appearance
    1. Powdery substance felt through or on envelope
    2. Envelope stained or has odor
    3. Uneven or lopsided envelope
    4. Excessive packaging material (e.g. tape or string)

III. Step 1: Contact local authorities

  1. Local law enforcement
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
  3. State Public Health Department

IV. Step 2: Suspicious item management

  1. Suspected item handlers wear protective clothing
    1. Latex gloves
    2. Particulate mask (Tuberculosis mask)
  2. Encase letter or package in doubled plastic bags
  3. Suspected items tested at Public Health department

V. Step 3: Evaluate potential Anthrax contacts

  1. Wash hands with soap and water
  2. Decontamination protocol depending on suspected agents
  3. Maintain list of all exposed persons
  4. All exposed persons evaluated by emergency personnel

VI. Resources

  1. United States Postal Service
    1. http://www.usps.com
  2. CDC Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response
    1. http://www.bt.cdc.gov

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