Suspicious Package Checklist

September 15, 2022

You may have heard in the news about a package that detonated at Northeastern University in Boston, resulting in minor injuries to one member of their staff.

While we have no reason to believe Columbia is a target, we wanted to share tips on how to identify suspicious packages and what to do if you or someone on campus encounters one. Consult the full list of tips if you observe a suspicious or abandoned package or object including:

  • Look for conspicuous characteristics such as rigid, lopsided, or uneven envelopes; excessive tape; oily stains; package discolorations; strange odors or sounds; excessive postage; restrictive markings such as “CONFIDENTIAL” or “PERSONAL”
  • Do not disturb or move the object
  • Alert others to leave the area and isolate the area immediately
  • Put as much distance as possible between yourself and the package
  • Wash your hands with soap and water
  • Call Columbia Public Safety’s emergency line and follow additional instructions
    • Morningside: 212-854-5555
    • Manhattanville: 212-853-3333
    • CUIMC: 212-305-7979

View this USPS Suspicious Mail or Packages poster for helpful visual instructions.

Thank you for doing your part to help keep our campus community safe.