Western Nevada CollegeWestern Nevada College Policies

Policy 10-2-3: Dealing with Suspicious Packages, Mail and Other Potentially Hazardous Items

WNC Policy 10-2-3
Procedure: Dealing with Suspicious Packages, Mail and Other Potentially Hazardous Items
Policy No.: 10-2-3
Department: Public Safety
Contact: WNC Public Safety Director

All WNC personnel must be vigilant when entering campus areas or receiving packages or mail. This procedure identifies need and methods to recognize potentially hazardous or suspicious materials, packages, and letters, and how to deal with such circumstances.

The procedure also addresses how not to create a potentially suspicious item or situation on our campuses by preplanning events and classes and notifying other departments.

  • Section 1: Responsibilities
    • A. All employees and students should first read the attached document (Attachment “A”) “Hazardous Information Training Sheet” from Homeland Security and make others aware of these requirements. This is especially important if you receive packages directly and not through our Carson City mailroom. These other key areas include our rural campuses, bookstores and café.
    • B. WNC Public Safety Department:
      If an employee or other student finds a suspicious package or potential hazardous material, contact the WNC Public Safety Department or call 911.
    • C. WNC EH&S Department:
      For information on how to identify, store or dispose of potentially hazardous materials, contact EH&S. If a hazardous material is identified but it does not represent an immediate hazard and is not suspicious, notify WNC EH&S for disposal.
    • D. Academic Faculty:
      Contact WNC Facilities if you have an unplanned non-hazardous mishap that needs immediate custodial attention. WNC Public Safety can help college personnel contact custodial staff at night.
  • Section 2: Procedure
    • A. Carson Campus:
      When you encounter a suspicious potential hazardous material, letter or package follow the Homeland Security “Hazard Information Training Sheet”.
      Call WNC Public Safety (230-1952) and/or 911 as required and state that you have a possible hazmat incident.
      If a serious condition exists, use WNC’s mass notification system(s).
      Follow directions of the professional responders.
      Write incident reports; see that those injured/contaminated are cared for.
      Assure that all contamination is addressed, including vehicles and mailrooms.
      If you are supervising a vendor, consultant or contractor, have them check the materials that they receive at the college following the Homeland Security Training Sheet.
      It is also essential that we manage, properly dispose, and clean after construction, classroom activities and lab/shop experiments so that the next group using the area or classroom will not be concerned about the potentially hazardous nature of the unidentified or suspicious material.
    • B. For other WNC Campus Locations: Follow the procedure above (Section 2. A).
      Contact WNC Public Safety at 230-1952, your WNC Public Safety officer, or your rural campus administrative office. If they cannot be reached, contact WNC EH&S, WNC Facilities, or the Carson Campus Night Administrator.
      If immediate assistance is required, call 911 and explain that, a potential hazmat situation may exist.
  • Section 3: Precautionary Action Summary
    • A. • Be observant
      • Stay calm
      • Avoid contamination - relocate people not the package
      • If contaminated, isolate yourself to avoid spreading contamination until hazmat arrives
      • Do not open or move the package
      • Notify others nearby to evacuate
      • Notify Public Safety or call 9-1-1 (ask for hazmat)
      • Call Facilities to stop ventilation
      • Close-door and/or secure the area
      • Monitor until Public Safety/others/Hazmat arrive
  • Section 4: Guide for Academic Faculty with Nonconventional Activities
    • A. If you are planning a nonconventional class that will result in atypical waste that is nonhazardous, please obtain plastic trash bags from facilities in advance of the class. Deposit the bags in a dumpster so the classroom or the area is not compromised for the next user.
    • B. A. If you are planning a class with an atypical waste that is or could be a hazard, contact WNC’s EH&S department at least a week before the class.
    • C. If you will need assistance or guidance in removing your non-hazardous waste, please write a work order to facilities at least a week prior to the class so Facilities can interface with you and assist.
Date Adopted and Dates Revised
Date Adopted March 14, 2016 Dates Revised
Please direct comments about this page to the Assistant to the President
URL: https://www.wnc.edu/policymanual/10-2-3.php
Date Printed: September 15, 2019