Be Cautious of Suspicious Packages

There are things in the world that we never expect to happen. We expect our shoes to get untied. We expect to get stuck in traffic, and we expect that we will inevitably be late to a meeting at least once in our lifetime. We also tend to expect the worst case scenario. After all it’s better to prepare for the worst and just hope for the best, right? That is why we need to question everything.

Recently a suspicious package exploded in a spa in Aliso Viejo. The explosion unfortunately took one life. What would have happened if someone questioned the integrity of the package? When we go to airports, we hear the voice over the speakers constantly reminding us to be aware of any suspicious or unattended baggage. We’re used to being on guard for attacks at the airport, but we never think to question things that happen at a spa. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter where we are. We always need to be aware.

There are several things you need to inspect to determine the integrity of the package. According to Georgia State University, you shouldn’t just open any package that you were not expecting.

There are also several characteristics a suspicious package may have:

  • Rigid or bulky.
  • Lopsided or uneven.
  • Wrapped in string.
  • Badly written or misspelled labels.
  • Generic or incorrect titles.
  • Excessive postage.
  • No postage.
  • Foreign writing, postage, or return address.
  • Missing, nonsensical, or unknown return address.
  • Leaks, stains, powders, or protruding materials.
  • Ticking, vibration, or other sounds.

If you happened to receive a suspicious package it’s best to alert the authorities immediately if you think it to be life-threatening.

If you receive a package that is suspicious there are several steps that you can take:

  • Leave the mail piece or substance where it was found.
  • Do not disturb it.
  • Do not try to clean up the substance.
  • Clear the immediate area of all persons and keep others away.
  • Instruct people in the immediate area to wash hands and other exposed skin with soap and water.
  • Direct these people to a designated area away from the substance to await further instruction.
  • List the names of the persons in the immediate area of the mail piece or substance.
  • Keep others away from the immediate area.
  • Shut down all equipment in the immediate area and HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).
  • If possible without disturbing the mail piece or substance, document location of mailpiece or substance.

Just because you only hear about it happening in bigger cities, doesn’t mean you’re never going to encounter a suspicious package. We live in a time where it seems like everyone is fair game.

You could be living in a small town but have had a business meeting in Los Angeles and encounter a suspicious package. There are so many possibilities that it is best to be prepared for all scenarios.