Monthly Safety Reminder: What to do in Case of a Suspicious Package

  • December 2nd, 2019

Monthly Safety Reminder graphic which says UA Safety Reminder: What to do in Case of a Suspicious Package

On the first Wednesday of each month (unless inclement weather is expected), The University of Alabama tests its emergency notification systems, including UA alerts, the UA Safety app, the public address system and digital signage. In addition to notification tests, the University provides monthly safety tips and information to help the UA community be prepared in different types of emergency situations. This month’s topic is what to do in case of a suspicious package.

If you receive or discover a suspicious package or device:

  • Do not touch, move or tamper with it.
  • Immediately call 911 or University Police at 205-348-5454.
  • Do not use a cell phone within 300 feet of the suspicious package.

Letters or packages that have the following characteristics should trigger suspicion:

  • Have powdery substances on the outside.
  • Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
  • Have excessive postage, handwritten or poorly typed address, incorrect titles or titles with no name, or misspelling of common words.
  • Are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or are otherwise outdated.
  • Have no return address or have one that can’t be verified as legitimate.
  • Are of unusual weight, given their size, or are lopsided or oddly shaped.
  • Have an unusual amount of tape.
  • Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as “Personal” or “Confidential.”
  • Have strange odors or stains.
For more information on what to do in a significant emergency or dangerous situation on campus, visit You can also download the UA Safety app for IOS and Android devices, and follow UA’s Office of Emergency Management on Twitter @UA_Safety.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.