Suspicious Package

How to Identify Suspicious Packages and Letters

Some characteristics of suspicious packages and letters include the following:

  •  Excessive postage
  •  Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
  •  Incorrect titles
  •  Title, but no name
  •  Misspellings of common words
  •  Oily stains, discolorations or odor
  •  No return address
  •  Excessive weight
  •  Lopsided or uneven envelope
  •  Protruding wires or aluminum foil
  •  Visual distractions
  •  Ticking sound
  •  Excessive security material such as masking tape, string, etc.
  •  Marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential"
  •  Shows a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address

Actions to Take Once a Potential Suspicious Package Has Been Identified:

  •  Stay Calm - Do Not Panic.
  •  Do Not Move or Handle a Suspicious Package.
  •  Call UMPD at (301) 405-3333 or 911 immediately.
  •  If there is reason to suspect that a package may contain an explosive device based on characteristics described above, do not handle the package. Leave the area and contact UMPD.
  •  If the suspicious letter or package is marked with a threatening message (such as "anthrax") or if a suspicious powder or substance spills out of a package or envelope, follow these guidelines:
  •  DO NOT CLEAN up a Suspicious Powder.
  •  TURN OFF local fans or ventilation units in the area if you suspect that a device has been activated and the fan/ventilation switches are quickly and easily accessible.
  •  LEAVE the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering. Call for help and keep others away from the area.
  •  WASH your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder to your face.
  •  REMOVE heavily contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag or some other container that can be sealed. Give clothing bag to the emergency responders.
  •  SHOWER with soap and water as soon as possible if contaminated. Do Not Use Bleach or other Disinfectant On Your Skin.
  •  LIST all people who were in the area when the suspicious package was recognized.
  • PROVIDE this list of people to UMPD for follow-up investigations and to ensure everyone involved can receive advice from local public health authorities and outside law enforcement officials.
See Something, Say Something Infographic

upload and download forms & plans

For Emergency Management Council members only. Members can access EMC folders and files. 

UMD BOX: The UMD Document Portal

Get training through UMD Trained, and be prepared.

Get Training
Looking for First Aid, CPR, AED training? Want to test & evaluate your capabilities? Contact us to coordinate training & exercises.

signup and get emergency alert notifications at UMD Alert

Stay Alert!
Stay connected! Stay Safe!
Students, faculty, and staff should register their cell phones to receive text messages from UMD Alerts. 

get the app, stay aware, be informed!

Load The App
Download the UMD Guardian app to quickly and easily contact UMPD.
Safety timer, Panic call, or Text a tip.