As reported previously by the Security Magazine Blog, an exercise including USPS workers delivering medicine to households impacted by a bioterror attack will continue this summer.
Escorted by a police officer, a total of 2 million households in 5 cities will have a surprise visit from their letter carrier this summer, and they will deposit up to 2 bottles of emergency doxycyclene in each mailbox, first responders to a fictional anthrax, or other bioterrorist attack.
Although the pill bottles will not actually contain real drugs, it is a scenario designed to prepare local officials for a biological terror attack with a quick strike delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. The mail carriers, all volunteers, are the lynchpin of a pilot program launched with a dry run May 6 in Minneapolis St. Paul and will continue until the end of September in Louisville, Kentucky, San Diego, Boston and Philadelphia.
With a $10 million budget, the postal service is teaming up with the Department of Health and Human Services, State, and local health officials and law enforcement agencies to devise a program that would deliver antibiotics to thousands of households in each city within hours of an attack. Officials said the mail carriers could be deployed as soon as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the order to local health officials to release medicine.