Suspicious Packages

Suspicious packages and envelopes include:
  • No return address
  • Handwriting on envelope that is distorted or typewritten
  • Envelope is uneven, rigid or appears to contain no correspondence
  • Excessive postage
  • Addressee's name misspelled or title listed incorrectly
  • Oily stains, powdery substances or peculiar odors
  • Packages marked "confidential," "personal," or "rush"
  • Delivered by unexplained or unusual means

If you receive a package like this:
  1. Do not open the package. Leave the package on a desk or in an area where it can be monitored and left undisturbed.
  2. Call the University Police Department at 256-782-5050 or 911. Protocols have been established with local emergency services to respond.

If you receive an unopened letter or letter that appears empty:
  1. Do not panic.
  2. Place the envelope in a plastic bag or glassine envelope.
  3. Wash hands with soap and water.
  4. Notify the University Police Department immediately and your supervisor.

If you receive an envelope with powder and the powder spills out onto a surface:
    1. Do not panic.
    2. Do not attempt to clean powder up.
    3. Do not brush off your clothes.
    4. Contain people who were in the area when the envelope was opened. Keep others away. Via telephone, evacuate others in the general vicinity.
    5. Notify the University Police Department immediately.
    6. Wash your hands with soap and water if it is available in the immediate area.
    7. Make a list of anyone who had contact with the powder and give it to the University Police Department. They may be instructed to watch for fever or other symptoms over the next couple of days.