A University Plan for Response to a Prospective Terrorist Threat: Suspicious Letter or Package


L. Porter


The Washington State University Receiving and Delivery Office reported a possible anthrax threat in the form of a suspicious package on 8 Nov 2001. During the ensuing response of several affected university safety organizations, including the Radiation Safety Office, the package was properly investigated and a conclusion as to the credibility of the prospective threat was reached. In the course of handling the incident, a number of possible improvements in procedure for such joint responses became apparent. A joint meeting was held the next day for the safety departments' leadership in order to discuss and analyze the events of the preceding day, and to systematize corrective measures that would provide a viable joint emergency response plan for such cases. The main features of coordination and of each safety department protocol in a joint emergency response plan are set forth in some detail, and compared with guidelines in pertinent documents from federal and state agencies.


This abstract was presented at the 36th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety Aspects of Homeland Security and Emergency Response", Poster Session, 1/26/2003 - 1/29/2003, held in San Antonio, TX.

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