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Police Emergency
On-campus phone 911
Off-campus Call (301) 405-3333
(UMD Police) or 911
Non-Emergency Call:
(301) 405-3555
Other Police Numbers

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Dial 911

Police On-campus contingency phone call:
(301) 403-4543 or
(301) 403-4544

University Health Center
(301) 314-8180

UMD ALERTS: www.alert.umd.edu

EMAIL:
preparedness@umd.edu

 

Emergency Preparedness > Emergency Procedures and Action Plans <- You Are Here

Suspicious Package Response Guide

The Department of Public Safety has developed this guide to assist in responding to reports of suspicious packages. The information in this guide has been obtained from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Postal Service. We have inserted some specific University phone numbers and procedures to help if presented with the situations described.

How to Identify Suspicious Packages and Letters:
Some characteristics of suspicious packages and letters include the following:

  • Excessive postage
  • Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
  • Incorrect titles
  • Title, but no name
  • Misspellings of common words
  • Oily stains, discolorations or odor
  • No return address
  • Excessive weight
  • Lopsided or uneven envelope
  • Protruding wires or aluminum foil
  • Visual distractions
  • Ticking sound
  • Excessive security material such as masking tape, string, etc.
  • Marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential"
  • Shows a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address
  • Actions to Take Once a Potential Suspicious Package Has Been Identified:

    1. Stay Calm - Do Not Panic.
    2. Do Not Move or Handle a Suspicious Package.
    3. Call Public Safety at 301-405-3333 or 911 immediately.
    4. If there is reason to suspect that a package may contain an explosive device based on characteristics described above, do not handle the package. Leave the area and contact the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety.
    5. If the suspicious letter or package is marked with a threatening message (such as "anthrax") or if a suspicious powder or substance spills out of a package or envelope, follow these guidelines:
      1. DO NOT CLEAN up a Suspicious Powder.
      2. TURN OFF local fans or ventilation units in the area if you suspect that a device has been activated and the fan/ventilation switches are quickly and easily accessible.
      3. LEAVE the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering. Call for help and keep others away from the area.
      4. WASH your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
      5. REMOVE heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag or some other container that can be sealed. Give clothing bag to the emergency responders.
      6. SHOWER with soap and water as soon as possible if contaminated. Do Not Use Bleach or other Disinfectant On Your Skin.
      7. LIST all people who were in the area when the suspicious package was recognized.
      8. PROVIDE this list of people to Public Safety for follow-up investigations and to ensure everyone involved can receive advice from local public health authorities and outside law enforcement officials.

    Emergency Preparedness & Response
    The Emergency Responders from Public Safety will assess the situation. If the suspicious letter or package is marked with a threatening message (such as "anthrax") or if a suspicious powder or substance has spilled, they will follow certain guidelines.

    Please do the following to assist the Department of Public Safety

    1. TURN OFF local fans or ventilation units in the area.
    2. LEAVE area immediately.
    3. CLOSE the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
    4. SHUT down air handling system in the building, if possible. Call Facilities Management at x4-2222 for assistance with HVAC and other building issues.
    5. LIST all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized.
    6. PROVIDE this list of people to Public Safety for follow-up investigations and to ensure everyone involved receives advice from local public health authorities and outside law enforcement officials.

    Additional Resources:







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