Guidelines for Mail Handling Security
ANTHRAX THREAT GUIDELINES
In the event of any TERRORISM THREAT - CALL OR HAVE SOMEONE CALL:
- In Allendale - call 13255 GVSU Department of Public Safety
- Pew Campus - call 911 and then 6677 Security
- Meijer Campus - call 911 and then call 3255 GVSU Department of Public Safety
- Muskegan - call 911 then call 13255 GVSU Department of Public Safety
Tell them the manner of the threat and the specifics about what is happening and give them your exact location so they can find you.
How to Respond to Suspicious Mail and Threat Letters or Packages Potentially Contaminated with Anthrax or Other Biological Materials
Various office locations around the country have, and continue to receive letters through the mail. These letters may state that you have been exposed to anthrax or other biological materials. Additionally, these envelopes or packages may contain some type of powder or granules. The following information and recommendations (collected from various sources) are being provided to help you safely and effectively handle these types of incidents.
1. Firstly, all campus personnel should maintain an enhanced awareness of receipt of suspicious letters or packages. Some common things to look for include:
- Packages with no return address or excessive postage.
- Misspellings of common words or restrictive markings such as "personal" or "confidential".
- Items protruding from the envelope or package, wet areas, openings, or strange odors.
- Unusually heavy envelope and/or the presence of small bulges of powder or granules.
If you are concerned about a particular envelope or package, DO NOT OPEN IT. There is little risk of a release of materials or risk of exposure to you if the envelope or package remains intact. Call the appropriate numbers listed at the top of the page and inform the emergency dispatcher that you have a suspicious envelope or package.
2. If you open an envelope or package and you find a letter that contains a threatening message or states that you have been contaminated with anthrax or some other biological substance, and no substance is found:
- Replace the letter in the envelope and place the envelope in a plastic bag.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Call the appropriate numbers listed at the top of the page, remain at your work location and wait for emergency responders to arrive.
3. If you open an envelope or package and you observe some type of powder, REMAIN CALM:
- Slowly and carefully place the letter back in the envelope and put the envelope in a plastic bag if possible and seal it. If a plastic bag is unavailable, place the envelope on a counter or floor and cover the envelope with an empty garbage or recycling container.
- Do not walk around the office to show other people, now invite co-workers to come in and take a look.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
- Extensive body decontamination (i.e., removing clothing, showering) is not indicated.
- Call the appropriate numbers listed at the top of the page immediately to report the incident, and remain in place to assist emergency responders.
4. If any powder spills out of the envelope or package:
- Do not clean it up yourself, and prevent others from contracting it.
- Do not brush off your clothes ad disperse the powder into the air.
- Wash your hands with soap and water.
- Call the appropriate numbers listed at the page, inform the Public Safely Department of the incident, and that steps you have taken.
- Remain in place and carefully remove clothes and place them in a plastic bag.
- If possible, shower with soap and water and put on fresh clothes. It is not necessary nor is it recommended that you wash with bleach.
5. If there is a small explosion or release of an aerosol spray from a package:
- Vacate the space immediately and prevent other from entering.
- Call the appropriate numbers listed at the top of the page immediately and remain on the premises to provide information to emergency responders.
- Treat yourself and your clothes as in #4, above.
People who may have been present in the room, but did not contact the letter or substance, are at minimal risk of exposure. Individuals not in the room at the time when the envelope or package was opened are not at risk.
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Page last modified June 27, 2011