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Immediate Response Actions - Suspicious Mail
and Unknown Powders or Substances


PACKAGE Don't handle. Isolate it.

PEOPLE Clear the area of people and notify your supervisor.

PLAN Contact the Inspection Service and follow your facility emergency plan.

EMPLOYEES - take the following initial protective actions:

1. Leave the mail piece or substance where it was found. Do not disturb.

2. Clear the immediate area of employees where the mail piece or substance is located and prevent others from entering the area.

3. Immediately notify a supervisor or manager of the situation. If a supervisor is unavailable, contact the Postal Inspection Service.

4. Wash hands and any other exposed skin with soap and water.

SUPERVISORS AND MANAGERS- take the following actions:

1. Cordon off the area and keep others away from the mail piece or substance.

2. Refer to and follow the steps outlined in the "Response Checklist for Suspicious Mail and Unknown Powders or Substances."

3. Call the Postal Inspection Service with all available information on the mail piece or substance to conduct a threat assessment.

4. Take appropriate protective actions based on:

A The Inspection Service's threat assessment and instructions.

B. Your local emergency plan.

(Should an emergency situation exist such as smoke, fumes, vapors, or employees exhibiting medical symptoms - evacuate the area and call local emergency responders.) Follow the instructions of local emergency responders and make the appropriate notifications as indicated in your local emergency action plan.

5. Expediently communicate with employees, the local unions and management associations. Limit the information to the known facts and avoid any speculation that may lead to unintended misinformation. To the extent possible, use local first responders to assist in providing information.

August 2005