Bomb Threat Awareness and Your Response

Bomb threats are usually received by telephone, but they may also be received by note, letter or e-mail. All bomb threats should be taken very seriously and handled as though an explosive were in the building. Your place of employment should have a plan in place instructing what to do when a bomb threat is received.

  • What to do?
    1. Remain calm. Keep the caller on the line for as long as possible. Do not hang up, even if the caller does.
    2. Listen carefully. Be polite and show interest.
    3. Try to keep the caller talking to learn more information.
    4. If possible, write a note to a colleague to call the authorities, or as soon as the caller hangs up, immediately notify them yourself.
    5. If your phone has a display, copy the number and/or letters on the window display.
    6. Complete the Bomb Threat Checklist immediately. Write down as much detail as you can remember. Try to get exact words.
    7. Immediately upon termination of the call, do not hang up, but from a different phone, contact 9-1-1 immediately with information and await instructions.
  • Questions to ask
    • When is the bomb going to explode?
    • Where is the bomb?
    • What does it look like?
    • What kind of bomb is it?
    • What will cause it to explode?
    • Did you place the bomb?
    • Why?
    • Where are you calling from?
    • What is your address?
    • What is your name?
  • If a bomb threat is received by a handwritten note

    Call 9-1-1
    Handle not as minimally as possible
    Write down or remember as much information possible about the person who gave you the note:

    • Voice
    • Male/Female
    • Clothing
    • Height
    • Identifying marks
    • Vehicle
    • Direction of travel
  • If a bomb threat is received by email
    • Call 9-1-1
    • Do not delete message.
  • Signs of a suspicious package
    • No return address
    • Poorly handwritten
    • Excessive postage
    • Misspelled words
    • Stains
    • Incorrect titles
    • Strange odor
    • Foreign postage
    • Strange sounds
    • Restrictive notes
    • Unexpected delivery
  • What not to do?
    • Use two-way radios or cell phones; radio signals have the potential to detonate a bomb
    • Evacuate the building until first responders arrive and evaluate the threat
    • Activate the fire alarm
    • Touch or move a suspicious package