Guidance on initial responses to a suspicious letter / container with a potential biological threat
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Guidance on initial responses to a suspicious letter / container with a potential biological threat

Filetype[PDF-241.04 KB]

  • English

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      UNCLASSIFIED November 2, 2004

      This is an FBI – DHS – HHS/CDC Coordinated Document

      A large number of potentially suspicious letters and packages continue to be reported to federal, state, and local law enforcement and emergency response agencies nationwide. In some instances these letters or packages may include powders, liquids, or other materials. Federal, state, and local response agencies should be mindful of the potential for small-scale exposure, which could result from material contained in threatening or suspicious packages. While this guidance is generally focused on the initial response to potential biological threats, all personnel responding to such incidents must be aware of the potential for exposure to hazardous chemical and/or radiological materials in addition to biological hazards. Additionally, there may be a threat posed from secondary releases or devices. Consistent with established protocols, response agencies should follow standard law enforcement procedures and hazard risk assessments in response to calls, and should pre-identify the relevant local public health points of contact to be notified in the event of a potential bioterrorism event.

      The following guidelines are recommendations for local responders, based on existing procedures (including recommendations from the International Association of Fire Chiefs). This document provides guidance on the initial response to a suspicious letter/container, while other follow-on response plans, such as portions of the National Response Plan (NRP), may be utilized if a threat is deemed credible. In general, these potential threats or incidents fall into one of five general scenarios.


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