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Emergency Guidelines for the Campus Community

Suspicious Mail

Since 2001, there have been a limited number of incidents involving agents of terror, including Anthrax and Ricin, being sent through the mail. The following guidelines are intended to help identify suspcious materials and to provide procedures to follow in the event of receiving suspicious mail.

If you receive a suspicious letter or package:

  1. Do not try to open the package.  If there is spilled material, do not try to clean it up and do not smell, touch or taste the material.
  2. Do not shake or bump the package or letter.
  3. Isolate the package, placing it in a sealable plastic bag, if available.
  4. Calmly alert others in the immediate area and leave the area, closing the door behind you.
  5. Wash hands and exposed skin vigorously with soap and flowingwater for at least 20 seconds.  Antibacterial soaps that do not require water are not effective for removing anthrax or other threatening materials. 
  6. Call Public Safety at 8-3134 and give them your exact location.
  7. Wait for Public Safety to respond.  Do not leave the building unless instructed to do so by Public Safety personnel.
Public Safety will respond and will contact  local, state and federal authorities, as appropriate. 

General precautions for handling mail

Any staff member who handles mail in bins, bags or other bulk containers - either from the US Post Office or distributing to an entire department or a number of offices - must participate in a  training program.

If the package or letter is not suspicious, please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Face the package or mail away from you before opening it.
  • Cover cuts or abrasions with bandages.  If bandages are not sufficient, gloves are an alternative.  Be aware that it is possible to have an allergic reaction to latex gloves.  A better alternative is vinyl or nitrile gloves.  Avoid gloves that are lined with powder.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water (not waterless antibacterial soap) for at least 20 seconds after opening the mail.
Pranks and Hoaxes

Pranks or hoaxes involving false threats of agents of terror, including Anthrax or Ricin, disrupt lives, create serious safety concerns, and tax valuable University and community resources.  They create illegitimate alarm in a time of legitimate concern.  The University and law enforcement authorities take all such actions very seriously.  The University has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy and will aggressively investigate any such incidents.  Any individual found responsible for such acts will be subject to University disciplinary action, up to and including separation from the University, and prosecution under State and Federal law.

Training

Any staff member who handles mail in bins, bags or other bulk containers - either from the US Post Office or distributing to an entire department or a number of offices - must participate in a mail handling training session. Please contact Kelly States at 8-2648 to schedule a session.

For More Information

Contact EHS at 258-5294.


©2003 The Trustees of Princeton University. Last modified 25-Feb-2005 16:42 by Robin M. Izzo