white powder tabletop august 20 21 2008 san joaquin county n.
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White Powder Tabletop August 20-21, 2008 San Joaquin County

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White Powder Tabletop August 20-21, 2008 San Joaquin County. White Powder Tabletop. April 24, 2008 It’s Monday morning 7:45 a.m. at the Amos Alonzo Stagg Memorial Stadium. As the day begins, there are approximately 7,200 people enjoying the Pacific Tigers women’s soccer game.

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white powder tabletop
White Powder Tabletop

April 24, 2008

It’s Monday morning 7:45 a.m. at the

Amos Alonzo Stagg Memorial Stadium. As

the day begins, there are approximately

7,200 people enjoying the Pacific Tigers

women’s soccer game.


Stadium maintenance staff was sweeping the stands when he notice four small piles of white powder.

He puts up caution signs and cones. Then he notifies his supervisor, who calls Environmental Health and Safety.

  • What is the Environmental Health and Safety’s response?
  • What other agencies are alerted? Who alerts them?
  • Does your agency have a plan that you are aware of? How would you locate it or how would you determine how to proceed?
hazmat responds at the stadium at 8 15 a m
Hazmat responds at the Stadium at 8:15 a.m.


  • What are the actions taken by other alerted agencies?
  • What testing procedures might HazMat conduct?
Stadium: 8:45 a.m.Hazmat determines that the substance may be talcum powder, but want to do additional tests.


  • What are the limitations of Haz-Mat testing in the field?
  • What kind of radioactivity can be detected?
  • What are the implications of these limitations?
  • What notification occurs?
stadium 8 55 a m fbi assesses incident by phone and determines that no credible threat exists
Stadium: 8:55 a.m.FBI assesses incident by phone and determines that no credible threat exists.


  • How does the FBI determine whether or not there is a credible terrorist threat?
  • Could there still be a threat if the FBI determines it is not a terrorist threat?

Stockton: 9:00 a.m.A local bail bondsman enters the Stocton Sheriff’s Station. He shows the deputy on duty a letter he’s just received containing small vial of white powder. The letter reads: “This will taste sweet on your lips”.

  • How should the deputy handle the sample?
  • What advice should he give the bail bondsman?
  • Who should be notified? Who notifies them?
  • How would your agency respond? Would your agency arrive on scene?

Stockton: 9:20 a.m.While attempting to place the vial into a sealed plastic bag, the vial breaks spreading powder over the deputy’s wrists and hands.


  • What should the deputy do?
  • What are procedures for the building?

Stockton: 9:40 a.m.Hazmat responds to the Stockton Sheriff’s Station. Samples test positive for talc.Stockton: 10:30 a.m.The FBI responds by phone to assess the Stockton situation and makes the determination that this is not a credible terrorist threat.

  • Could there still be an investigation by a law enforcement agency if the FBI deems no credible threat?
  • If a patient presents to a hospital complaining of symptoms consistent for anthrax, what tests and actions are appropriate?

Stockton: 11:30 a.m. Hazmat conducts additional tests, which indicate the presence of Tellurium, Iodoform, activated charcoal and Tin 2 oxide but not radioactivity


  • How accurate are these tests? How does staff know whether a particular test result makes sense?
  • Are there additional technical experts that could be called upon in San Joaquin County?
  • Could two hazmat operations of these types be conducted at the same time in our county?

Stockton: 12:30 p.m.The deputy and bail bondsman’s family are concerned that they have been exposed to an unknown and potentially harmful substance. The Sheriff asks the Public Health Department for assistance in testing the powder.

What is effect of pressure from the public and agency staff on our actions? What should be our response?
  • What are the testing capacities of the public health laboratory in San Joaquin County?
  • What is the Laboratory Response Network (LRN)?
  • In these situations, can the public health lab provide assistance to other laboratories or Hazmat?
  • Could a public health laboratory test this sample?
  • Where would this substance be tested?

Stockton: 1:00 p.m.Due to inconclusive testing by Hazmat, Stadium officials requests that the Public Health Department test the substance to rule out anthrax. The Public Health Department agrees to facilitate testing.

  • Questions
  • Who collects the sample?
  • Where would it be tested?

Stockton: 7 p.m.The Public Health Laboratory in Stockton determines the presence of anthrax in the white powder from the Amos Alonzo Stagg Memorial Stadium.

  • Who received the results?
  • What agencies will respond and what are their actions?
  • What individuals are at risk and what action needs to be taken to protect them?
  • How will hospitals and medical providers be informed? Who will inform the public?
  • What are the implications for emergency rooms?
  • If no powder was found, what would be our first indication that individuals were exposed to anthrax or other harmful agents?
wrap up
  • After Action Report
  • Improvement Plan