The country is anxious after multiple pipe bombs were sent to Democratic leaders throughout the U.S. and naturally so.
Thankfully, the bombs did not cause any fatalities and did not detonate.
And though both bombs and chemicals are rare, it is a scenario that can still happen.
According to the US Postal Inspection Service, over 170 billion pieces of mail are processed each year and only a small fraction — 16 pieces to be exact — were investigated as mail bombs in the past few years.
So if you do the math, that is an average of less than 1 in 10 billion.
But with that being said, mail bombs can potentially be deadly. Earlier this year, a 17-year-old in Austin, Texas, died from an explosive mail bomb.
If you are worried about packages that you receive and wonder if they may be dangerous or not, we have compiled a checklist for you for peace of mind. Both the postal service and government agencies look for the following when they are determining if a package is suspicious or not.
Investigators along with security personnel and mail inspectors all say that suspicious packages usually have a few core commonalities.
The paper envelope was wrinkled and damaged.
Names and/or places on the sender’s address label was misspelled.
One corner of the package was covered in stamps.
So what should you do now if a package you received has one or all of the above traits?
According to the Department of Homeland Security, leave the package alone.
The next step is to clear the area and contact emergency personnel immediately.
Next, be sure to wash your hands as well as any other exposed skin with soap and water.
The next step would be to shut down all equipment surrounding the package and if it is possible and without affecting the piece of mail — write down everything you can about the package.
This would include what it looks like, any markings or any kinds as well as the name and address on it to the best of your ability.
While hopefully, this never ever happens to you or loved ones — you are now equipped with a few key points and figures that should point you in the right direction should you ever be in this situation — god forbid.
Now if you will excuse me — I will now be moving my apartment into a below-level bunker, disappearing from the internet, changing my name, my number and my area code, as well as getting a P.O. Box because all of this is too much to handle right now and I can’t deal.
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