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Terrorist Crisis directory

October 15, 2001

UCSC Mail Services manager issues guidelines for handling mail

Campus Officers and Administrators:

You may have seen reports in the popular press about the FBI warning regarding possible terrorist attacks over the next several days. Local law enforcement agencies are on the highest alert, and all people are called on "to immediately notify the FBI and local law enforcement of any unusual or suspicious activity."

This message is not to alarm you, but to reassure you and your staff members who handle unopened mail that there are a number of safeguards in place. Please share this information with them. UCSC postal mail is screened twice before it is delivered. Mail entered into the postal stream is constantly monitored by the U.S. Postal Service, and mail received by Campus Mail Services is also inspected for suspicious-looking markings. Any suspicious mail is segregated and experts are notified.

Nevertheless, you should be on the lookout for unusual mail. Departments should check mail for the following, and take the precautions indicated:

Mail that may have a light coating of a powdery substance:

  1. Do not handle the mail piece or package suspected of contamination. Cover it with anything (e.g., clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do not remove this cover.
  2. Notify people in the immediate vicinity of the incident, and immediately wash your hands with soap and water.
  3. Notify immediate supervisor and Campus Police (dial 911).
  4. Ensure that all persons who have touched the letter wash their hands with soap and water.
  5. List all persons who have touched the letter/package with contact information.

Other suspicious mail:

  1. Restrictive markings ("Personal")
  2. Postmark city different from return address
  3. Fictitious, unfamiliar or no return address
  4. Excessive postage
  5. Address to title only (e.g., Chancellor, Dean)
  6. Wrong title with name
  7. Badly typed or written addresses
  8. Misspelled words
  9. Rigid or bulky
  10. Protruding wires
  11. Strange odor
  12. Oily stains on wrapping or lopsided package

If you are suspicious of a mailing and are unable to verify the contents with the addressee or sender:

  1. Do not open
  2. Treat it as suspect
  3. Isolate it
  4. Call Campus Mail Services - who will call postal inspectors
  5. Call the University Police at 911

For more information check the Center for Disease Control at: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/.

Manuel Grijalva, Manager
UC Santa Cruz -- Mail Services
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA, 95064

fax: (831) 429-0146
phone: (831) 459-4852
email: mannyg@cats.ucsc.edu
www: http://cmsmailserv.ucsc.edu/mail/

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