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    Anthrax & Biological Threats - Handling Suspicious Letters or Packages

    If you encounter a suspicious unopened letter or package marked with a threatening message such as “ANTHRAX”, OR an envelope with powder that spills out onto a surface:

    · DO NOT shake or empty the contents of any suspicious envelope or package
    · (Preferably with gloves) Place the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents. Otherwise, cover the package with anything available.
    · If powder spills out, DO NOT try to clean it up, COVER the envelope or package with anything (e.g. clothing, paper, trash can, etc) and do not remove the cover.
    · LEAVE the room and CLOSE THE DOOR, or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
    · WASH your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
    · If a device has been triggered warning that air handling system is contaminated, or that a biological agent has been released in a public space, TURN OFF local fans or ventilation units in the area, and follow the steps above.

    What to do next…

    · If you are at home, then report the incident to local police (Santa Monica Police Department 310-458-8491).
    · If you are at work, then report the incident to local police, and notify your building security official or an available supervisor.
    · If the powder has leaked out, REMOVE heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag, or some other container that can be sealed, and give to the emergency responder fro proper handling.
    · Shower with soap and water as soon as possible. DO NOT USE BLEACH OR OTHER DISINFECTANT ON YOUR SKIN.
    · If a room has been contaminated by aerosolization, shut down air handling system in the building, if possible.
    · List all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give this list to both the local public health authorities and law enforcement officials for follow-up investigations and advice.


    Santa Monica Police Department © 2016
    333 Olympic Drive, P.O. Box 2200 Santa Monica, CA 90401 • 310.395.9931 •