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?
- Remain calm. Keep the caller on the line for as long as possible. Do not hang up, even if the caller does.
- Listen carefully. Be polite and show interest.
- Try to keep the caller talking to learn more information.
- If possible, write a note to a colleague to call the authorities, or as soon as the caller hangs up, immediately notify them yourself.
- If your phone has a display, copy the number and/or letters on the window display.
- Complete the Bomb Threat Checklist immediately. Write down as much detail as you can remember. Try to get exact words.
- 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?
- Where are you calling from?
- What is your address?
- What is your name?
If a bomb threat is received by a handwritten note
Handle not as minimally as possible
Write down or remember as much information possible about the person who gave you the note:
- Identifying marks
- 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
- 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