Suspicious Mail & Packages


DATE:     March 8, 2017


FROM:    Jim Hernandez, Distribution & Logistical Services


Below are the guidelines from the Homeland Security Office on handling suspicious mail and packages:

Handling Suspicious Mail

  • Examine unopened envelopes and packages and look for suspicious features.
  • Handle incoming mail in a designated separate area from work station(s).
  • Wash your hands after mail is opened.
  • Restrict mailroom access to authorized persons.

Receiving Suspect Packages

  • Remain calm.
  • Do not open the package or letter.
  • Do not shake or empty the contents of a suspicious package or envelope.
  • Do not carry the package or envelope, show it to others or allow others to examine it.
  • Put the package or envelope on a stable surface; do not sniff, touch, taste, or look closely at it or any contents that may have spilled.
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or other body parts.
  • Shut off window air conditioning units and fans.
  • Isolate the package and secure the room by shutting all doors and windows.
  • Thoroughly wash hands with soap and water.
  • Report to supervisor and call 911.
  • Advise fellow co-workers to avoid the area.
  • Don't leave the area until told to by responding officers.
  • Ensure that all persons who have touched the letter wash their hands with soap and water.
  • Make a list of all persons who touched the letter or package and who were in the area when the letter was opened.
  • After examination of package, shower with soap and water.

Features of Suspect Mail

  • Excessive postage, no postage, or non-canceled postage
  • No return address or fictitious return address
  • Improper spelling of names, titles or locations
  • Unexpected envelopes from foreign countries
  • Suspicious or threatening messages written on packages
  • Postmark with different location than return address
  • Distorted handwriting or cut-and-paste lettering
  • Unprofessionally wrapped packages or excessive use of tape, strings, or other wrapping
  • Packages marked "Fragile: Handle with Care," "Rush: Do Not Delay," "Personal" or "Confidential"
  • Rigid, uneven, irregular, or lopsided packages
  • Packages discolored, oily or with an unusual odor
  • Packages with soft spots, bulges, or excessive weight
  • Protruding wires or aluminum foil