Suspicious Letter, Package, or Other Items
If you notice protruding wires, strange odors, smoke, vapors, beeping, ticking, or a suspicious powdery substance on letters, packages or any other unattended items that you discover, you should treat that item as suspicious, and follow these instructions:
- Do not open, shake or disturb the contents.
- Do not try to smell the item.
- Do not pass to others or transport contents out of the area.
- If you are holding the item, set it down carefully and walk away from it, then wash your hands with soap and water.
- Call Vanderbilt Police (911 on campus phones, 322-2745 all other phones) and provide the location of the item, a description including size, and your location and contact number.
If the suspicious letter, package, or item has a powdery substance on the outside or is leaking:
- Follow the instructions listed above.
- Do not try to clean up powders or fluids.
- Place the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other type of container to contain leakage of contents.
- If nothing is available, cover the item and leave it undisturbed. Close windows, turn off fans, close door, or section off the area to minimize exposure to others.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, and move to an area that minimizes your exposure.
- Remain in the area and restrict others from entering until the arrival of Vanderbilt Police.
- Terminate response when directed by Vanderbilt Police.
- Complete a "First Report of Injury" report and contact Occupational Health (6-0955) or, during off hours, call the Emergency Department (2-0145) if exposure occurred.
If any of these characteristics are present, you may need to consider a letter or package to be suspicious:
- No return address
- Use of restrictive markings
- Excessive packaging material.
- Addressed to title only, common words misspelled, poorly typed or written
- Excessive postage
- Oily stains, discolorations or crystallization on wrapper
- Strange odor
- Protruding wires
To contact the Vanderbilt University Police Department in an emergency:
- Call 911 from any campus phone.
- Call from any other phone.