The probability of acts of terrorism is low. However, appropriate consideration and preparedness must be given to the potential use of biological, nuclear, incendiary, chemical and explosive weapons against our population. With federal assistance, our region has and continues to become better prepared to address this threat. The intent of terrorism is to instill fear and disrupt our way of life. Education and common sense must be applied to this subject to minimize panic and irrational response.
Public safety response to acts of terrorism follows existing plans and procedures designed to protect the public. The potential use of biological weapons also involves the integration of appropriate public health and disease control guidelines and recommendations.
What You Should Do to Help Protect Against Acts of Terrorism
Be aware of suspicious packages, letters and activities that might represent a public safety threat. Report these to your local law enforcement agency by calling “911”.
How To Handle Suspicious Mail
Some characteristics of suspicious mail:
Has a handwritten or poorly typed address.
It has an unidentified return address, or one that cannot be verified as legitimate or postmarked different from return address.
It is unlike mail you receive.
Has unusual weight, size or more postage than necessary.
There are protruding wires, strange odors, or stains.
If you open mail and determine there is a potentially dangerous substance:
- Do not shake or empty the contents and do not smell or taste contents.
- Isolate the area where the substance was opened.
- Do not clean the potentially exposed surface.
- Place the mail in a plastic bag or container, if a container is not available, cover the mail with paper or clothing and keep covered.
- Keep people away from this area and try to list all persons who were in this area when the mail was opened and provide a list to local health and law enforcement officials.
- Notify your supervisor if at work / law enforcement authorities (9-1-1) if at home.
- Immediately wash hands with soap and water, if heavily contaminated, remove and bag clothing and shower with soap and water.
If you received a verbal threat prior to mail delivery or a written threat note in the mail indicating a biological agent present:
- Follow the above procedures.
- Local fire, law enforcement and health departments will coordinate response and information will be provided to the local FBI for possible investigation.