Be wary of suspicious packages and letters. They can contain explosives, chemical or biological agents. Be particularly cautious at your place of employment.
Beware of parcels with any of these characteristics:
- 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, such as masking tape and string.
- Have misspellings of common words.
- Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
- Have incorrect titles or titles without a name.
- Are marked fragile or rush.
- Are not addressed to a specific person or they have only a title/no name.
- Are marked personal or private.
- Have hand-written or poorly typed addresses.
With suspicious envelopes and packages other than those that might contain explosives, take these additional steps against possible biological and chemical agents.
- Refrain from eating or drinking in a designated mail handling area.
- Place suspicious envelopes or packages in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents. Never sniff or smell suspect mail.
- If you do not have a container, then cover the envelope or package with anything available (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove the cover.
- Leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
- Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
- If you are at work, report the incident to the Department of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness at (314) 977-3000 immediately. They will investigate and notify the proper agencies or other authorities.
- List all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give a copy of this list to the Department of Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness for follow-up investigations and advice.
Modified from FEMA information