In an attempt to ease fears, the U.S. Postal Service is teaching safety techniques, when it comes to opening your mail. This afternoon, dozens of mailroom workers from all over the Ark-La-Tex showed-up at Shreveport's main post office. This class is an hour-long step toward allaying fears.
Office workers open mail all the time. Statistically they face little threat, but according to Postal Inspector William Bonney, they're still at risk. "Since September 11th we've delivered 20-billion pieces of mail with out incident. It's just in this most recent week, we've had three confirmed cases of anthrax."
Latex gloves and breathing masks are issued. Questions are asked. The postal inspectors mostly give tips. The biggest bit of advice while opening mail, use common-sense. Real threat, or no real threat, within the next 10-days, every household in America will recieve a post cart from the post office outlining how to deal with biological threats. City worker Gina Davis opens thousands of envelopes each day. She's not waiting for any post card. She's taking safety measures, into her own glove-covered hands. "Does this make you feel more comfortable?" "Yes, definitely. It will slow me down a little, but that's okay, because my health is more important."
And for that piece of mail that really raises alarm, postal inspectors advise, have a plastic bag handy. "We talk about baggies. That's only for something you're really suspicious of. After you've absolutely not identified where the envelope's from. Then you can put it in a baggie and seal it and give us a call or the local police." But only in the most extreme of cases. Bonney says, the best advice when opening mail, is to proceed with caution. He adds, statistically Americans are still remarkably safe.
A hurricane warning has been issued for the Big Island as Lane barrels toward the state as a powerful Category 5 storm.More >>