UMass Amherst

GUIDELINES FOR HANDLING SUSPICIOUS MAIL AND PACKAGES

Quick links: bomb threat radiological threat biological or chemical threat written threat
 

Related links:

Umass Environmental Health and Safety United States Postal Inspectors
  SUSPICIOUS MAIL AND PACKAGES CAN BE IDENTIFIED BY ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:
  • No return address or one that can't be verified as legitimate
  • Marked with restrictions, such as "Personal," "Confidential," or "Do not X-ray"
  • Sealed with excessive tape
  • Handwritten or poorly typed address,
  • Incorrect titles or titles with no name or misspellings of common words
  • Badly typed or written
  • Oily stains, discolorations, or crystallization on wrapper
  • Strange odor
  • Rigid or bulky
  • Lopsided or uneven
  • Addressed to someone no longer here or not addressed to a specific person
 

ACTION STEPS:

  • Isolate item immediately
  • Handle with care- -do not shake or bump
  • Do not open, smell, or taste the powder
  • Do not walk around with the letter or shake it
  • Do not discard the letter or package
  • Do not panic
 

WHOM TO NOTIFY:

Call Charlie Apicella, Mgr. of Mail and Distribution Services at 413 545-2488. Note- If Mgr. Apicella is not available, call Cindy McCluskey, Mail Supervisor at 413 545-2488 or Jim DeRoy, Distribution Supervisor at 413 545-3313

  • If neither manager nor supervisors are available, call Campus Police by dialing 911 from any campus phone or by dialing 413 545-2121 from an off campus or cell phone. Campus Police will contact the appropriate authorities
  • When emergency responders arrive, they will provide further instructions on what to do
 

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If you suspect a bomb threat:

Step

Action

1.

Evacuate the area immediately

2.

Do not touch the suspected bomb. Do not move or open it.

3.

Lock the door

4.

Do not use cell phones. Do not use 2 way radios.

5.

Do not change environment around a suspect package. Example, if lights were on/off , leave them that way.

6.

If possible, open windows in the immediate area to assist in venting potential explosive gases.

7.

Do not put it in water or a confined space such as a desk drawer or filing cabinet.

8.

Call Charlie Apicella, Mgr. of Mail and Distribution Services at 413 545-2488. Note- If Mgr. Apicella is not available, call Cindy McCluskey, Mail Supervisor at 413 545-2488 or Jim DeRoy, Distribution Supervisor at 413 545-3313.

If neither manager nor supervisors are available, call Campus Police by dialing 911 from any campus phone or by dialing 413 545-2121 from an off campus phone. Campus Police will contact the appropriate authorities.

9.

When emergency responders arrive, they will provide further instructions on what to do.

 

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If you suspect a radiological threat:

Step

Action

1.

Limit Exposure — Don’t Handle.

2.

Shield Yourself From Object.

3.

Evacuate the immediate area.

4.

Call Charlie Apicella, Mgr. of Mail and Distribution Services at 413 545-2488. Note- If Mgr. Apicella is not available, call Cindy McCluskey, Mail Supervisor at 413 545-2488 or Jim DeRoy, Distribution Supervisor at 413 545-3313.

If neither manager nor supervisors are available, call Campus Police by dialing 911 from any campus phone or by dialing 413 545-2121 from an off campus or cell phone. Campus Police will contact the appropriate authorities.

5.

When emergency responders arrive, they will provide further instructions on what to do.

 

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If you suspect a biological or chemical threat:

Step

Action

1.

Isolate the damaged or suspicious packages.
Evacuate the immediate area.

2.

Call Charlie Apicella, Mgr. of Mail and Distribution Services at 413 545-2488. Note- If Mgr. Apicella is not available, call Cindy McCluskey, Mail Supervisor at 413 545-2488 or Jim DeRoy, Distribution Supervisor at 413 545-3313.

If neither manager nor supervisors are available, call Campus Police by dialing 911 from any campus phone or by dialing 413 545-2121 from an off campus or cell phone. Campus Police will contact the appropriate authorities.

3.

Ensure that all persons who have touched the mailpiece wash their hands with soap and water.

4.

List all persons who have touched the letter and/or envelope. Include contact information and have this information available for the authorities. Provide the list to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

5.

Place all items worn when in contact with the suspected mailpiece in plastic bags and have them available for law enforcement agents.

6.

Shower with soap and water as soon as practical.

7.

When emergency responders arrive, they will provide further instructions on what to do.

 

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If you suspect a written threat

Step

Action

1.

Call Charlie Apicella, Mgr. of Mail and Distribution Services at 413 545-2488. Note- If Mgr. Apicella is not available, call Cindy McCluskey, Mail Supervisor at 413 545-2488 or Jim DeRoy, Distribution Supervisor at 413 545-3313.

If neither manager nor supervisors are available, call Campus Police by dialing 911 from any campus phone or by dialing 413 545-2121 from an off campus or cell phone. Campus Police will contact the appropriate authorities.

2.

Stay calm

3.

Save and secure everything involved with the letter including the envelope, the letter itself and other contents.

4.

Written threats should be treated as criminal evidence- do not pass the letter around to others.

5.

When emergency responders arrive, they will provide further instructions on what to do.

 
   
 
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