Handling Suspicious Mail

In light of recent events this information is being made available to you as a precautionary measure. It should be noted that the College has not been the recipient of any suspicious mail to date. In the interest of all of us who live and work here, the following information is simply a guideline to be used should a problem arise.

How to Handle Suspicious Mail

Francisco Ortiz, Director of Campus Safety
 

If you receive a suspicious letter or package:

· Isolate the letter or package immediately.

· Handle the letter or package with care.

· Do not shake, open, smell, touch, or taste the letter or package.

· Place the package in a plastic bag or cover with anything (clothes, paper, trash can).

· Treat it as suspect. Call Campus Safety at ext 2222.

What constitutes a suspicious letter or parcel?

· Visible signs of any powdery substance on the outside, protruding wires, aluminum foil, or a ticking sound.

· No return address, or a return address that does not match the postmark.

· Showing a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address.

· Marked with restrictive endorsements "To Be Opened By Addressee Only"

· Handwritten, poorly written, or poor handwriting.

· Labels of cut and paste letters.

· Misspellings of names or common words.

· Having a suspicious, threatening or cautionary message on the outside.

· If the letter or package is secured with an unusual amount of tape or string.

· If the package is messily sealed or wrapped or contains excessive weight.

What to do for yourself and others.

· Wash your hands with soap and warm water for one minute to prevent spreading any powder or other contaminant to your face.

· Ensure that all persons who have touched the suspicious item wash their hands as well.

· If any substance has leaked or spilled, shower with soap and water as soon as possible. Do not use bleach or other disinfectant on your skin.

· Do not allow anyone who might have touched the item to leave the area.

· Make a list of all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized, especially if powder was spilled. List anyone who might have had actual contact with the suspicious package or any of its packaging or contents. Give this list to local authorities or Campus Safety so that proper instructions can be given for medical follow-up and further investigation.

· Place all items worn when in contact with the suspected mail piece in a plastic bag and keep them wherever you change your clothes and have them available for law enforcements agents.

Who to call:

· If you are on campus, immediately notify Campus Safety (ext. 2222), who will contact the Postal Inspection Service and the Hartford Police (911).

· If you are at home, report the incident to local police or call your local post office to report that you’ve received a suspicious letter or parcel that may contain biological or chemical substances.

· In either case, indicate whether the envelope contains any visible powder or other substance leaked or spilled.

What to do next.

· Do not panic. Wait for Campus Safety and emergency personnel to arrive.

· Do not contact other officials.

· The Postal Inspectors will assess the threat situation and coordinate with the FBI.