Receiving a Suspicious Letter or Package

If you receive a suspicious letter or package:


  • Call 911.
  • Treat it as suspect.
  • Isolate immediately.

Do Not

  • Do NOT handle.
  • Do NOT shake or bump.
  • Do NOT open, smell or taste.

Common Features of Suspicious Packages

  • Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
  • Have no return address or a return address that can't be verified as legitimate.
  • Are marked with restrictive endorsements such as "Personal," "Confidential" or "Do Not X-ray."
  • Have protruding wires or aluminum foil, strange odors or stains.
  • Show a city or state in the postmark that doesn't match the return address.
  • Are of unusual weight given their size or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • Are marked with threatening language.
  • Have inappropriate or unusual labeling.
  • Have excessive postage or packaging material, such as masking tape and string.
  • Have misspellings of common words.
  • Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
  • Have incorrect titles or titles without a name.
  • Are not addressed to a specific person.
  • Have handwritten or poorly typed addresses.

When Suspicious Packages are Confirmed as a Threat

If a package or letter is open and/or a threat is identified:

For a Bomb

  • Evacuate immediately.
  • Call 911.

For Radiological

  • Shield yourself from the object.
  • Limit exposure — don't handle.
  • Evacuate area and call 911.

For Biological or Chemical

  • Isolate — don't handle.
  • Call 911.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.

Suspicious Substances in a Campus Building

If you find a suspicious substance in a campus building:

  • Clear and isolate the contaminated area. Do not touch or disturb anything.
  • Call University Police at 979-845-2345 or 911. For the Health Science Center, contact 911 or specific HSC campus phone numbers.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Identify individuals who may have been exposed to the material.
  • Do not leave premises until dismissed by authorities.

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