What is MEC?

MEC stands for munitions and explosives of concern. MEC includes military munitions such as unexploded ordnance, discarded military munitions, or munitions constituents, like TNT.


What if I find MEC?

Follow the 3Rs of explosives safety if you find any MEC or suspicious item:


MEC is dangerous.

Recognizing when you may have encountered MEC is the
most important step in reducing the risk of injury or death. MECs may be on land or in the water. They may be easy or hard to identify. To avoid the risk of injury or death:

  • Never move, touch, or disturb MEC or something you suspect may be MEC.
  • Beware that MECs may become more dangerous with age, not safer.
  • Don’t be tempted to take or keep a MEC as a souvenir.


Do not touch, move, or disturb it. Carefully leave the area.

Promptly retreat from the area. If you encounter what you believe is MEC:

  • Do not touch, move, or disturb it.
  • Immediately and carefully leave the area by retracing your steps—going out the way you entered.
  • Once safely away from the MEC, mark the path (like with a piece of clothing) so responders can find the MEC.


Notify the local police at 911.

Protect yourself, your family, your friends, and your community by immediately reporting MEC or suspected MEC to the police. Provide as much information as possible about what you saw and where you saw it, to help responders find, evaluate, and address the situation.

If you believe you may have encountered MEC, call the police at 911 and report:

  • The area where you encountered it.
  • Its general description. Remember, do not approach, touch, move or disturb it.
  • When possible, provide its estimated size, its shape, and visible markings and coloring.


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