OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

In Case of a Suspicious Package

Although any threatened use of a biological or chemical agent must be treated as though it is real, experience has demonstrated that these are likely to be hoaxes. However, caution is advised when dealing with any suspicious package or letter.

Common features of suspect packages or letters are:
  • There may be liquid leaking from package.
  • They tend to have hand-applied postage.
  • They have excessive postage.
  • They are addressed to a position, not a person.
  • There may be no return address.
  • They are often handwritten or have a poorly typed address.
  • They tend not to be in business format envelopes.
  • There may be misspelling of common words.
  • They may have restrictive markings such as Confidential, Personal, etc.
  • They may have excessive weight and/or the feel of a powdery or foreign substance.
  • There may be foreign postmarks and/or writing.
  • The source of the letter/package is not recognized by recipient/addressee.
If you believe you have received a suspect package or letter:
  • DO NOT open the letter or package.
  • Contact Oregon State Police at 541-737-7000 or 7-7000.
  • Remain at the site until police arrive with instructions.
If you inadvertently open a suspect package/letter or if it is leaking liquid or an unkown substance, you should:
  • Immediately set the item down gently at the location where it was opened.
  • Contact Public Safety Department at 541-737-7000 or 7-7000.
  • All potentially exposed persons should leave the area and wash exposed skin with soap and water.
  • Return to an area within the building adjacent to the initial exposure and wait for police. (For example, a hallway outside the original room.)
  • Don't allow others into the area. If anyone enters the area, they should stay in the area until instructed to leave by Oregon State Police.
  • Remember, this is NOT a medical emergency yet but it is a potential contamination problem.
  • This is also a potential crime scene – preserve evidence and pay attention to what you have seen or done.