While the likelihood of actually receiving anthrax or any other dangerous substance through the mail is minute, it is important for the safety of students, faculty, and staff that we do everything possible to minimize the potential. The Georgia Tech Post Office continues to carefully monitor for any suspicious letters or packages. As a general precaution, the following guidelines should be used when handling mail for individual departments:
- Make sure that cuts or cracks on hands are not exposed to suspicious packages and wash your hands frequently.
- Do not open any suspicious letters or packages. If you receive something that looks suspicious, immediately contact the Georgia Tech Police Department at 404.894.2500. Do not handle the item any further. If you come upon such an item unexpectedly, there are detailed instructions about handling mail, suspicious powders, or questions about room contamination at the Centers for Disease Control Web site.
The following are characteristics of suspicious mail, according to the US Postal Service:
- Parcels that are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you
- Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated
- Have no return address, or have one that can't be verified as legitimate
- Are of unusual weight, given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped
- Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential."
- Have protruding wires, strange odors or stains
- Show a city or state in the postmark that doesn't match the return address
Additional "suspicious mail" characteristics, according to the FBI, include:
- Excessive postage
- Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
- Incorrect titles
- Title, but no name
- Misspellings of common words
Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security