Mail Safety - Information for Responders

Worksite Mail Threats

Instructions for the proper handling of a potential bioterrorism threat received in the mail in order to limit exposure and to deliver the evidence to proper authorities.

  • Step One
    Stay calm: do not get excited or excite others. Most threats are not genuine. However, you must treat each incident as if it is.

  • Step Two
    Put the letter down. Get three zip-lock bags, a pair of latex gloves and a particulate (or TB) mask.

  • Step Three
    After putting on the gloves and mask, double bag the letter in zip-lock bags.

  • Step Four
    Wash your gloved hands with soap and water. Remove the gloves and mask and place them in a zip-lock bag. Wash your hands with soap and water. Everyone who had any contact with the letter MUST also wash their hands with soap and water.

  • Step Five
    Make a list of all persons who touched the letter or envelope. Be sure the list includes a contact phone number for each person in case follow-up is necessary.

  • Step Six
    Begin notification as follows:
    1. Notify your supervisor.
    2. Call your local health department.
    3. Notify your local police by dialing 9-1-1. The police will contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (who will arrange to collect the letter). If you do not have 911 service, contact your closest law enforcement agency.
    4. If health department staff think it is necessary, notify other building occupants.


Note: External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may also not be accessible to people with disabilities.

Last updated August 20, 2010