Bomb Threats

Bomb Threats

Procedures when receiving a threat by telephone

Bomb threats are generally a hoax which are made in an effort to disrupt normal business operations. However, NO bomb threat should be treated as a hoax. The following procedure is to be used if you are the recipient of a bomb threat over the telephone.


Remain as calm as possible

Be kind and courteous to the caller and note all information you are given as best as possible. Attempt to keep the caller on the line as long as possible.

If possible, gain the attention of a co-worker and have them notify the CMU Police (911) of the incoming bomb threat. This can be done through the use of writing or gestures. Do not allow the caller to know that CMU Police are being informed while you speak.

The CMU Police will decide if evacuation procedures are necessary and will initiate such procedures.

Bomb Threat Checklist 

Exact time of call:____________________________________________________________ Exact words of caller:_________________________________________________________ QUESTIONS TO ASK
1. When is bomb going to explode?_________________________
2. Where is the Bomb?____________________________________________________
3. What does it look like?__________________________________________________
4. What kind of bomb is it?_________________________________________________
5. What will cause it to explode?_____________________________________________
6. Did you place the bomb?_________________________________________________
7. Why?________________________________________________________________
8. Where are you calling from?______________________________________________
9. What is your address?___________________________________________________
10. What is your name?____________________________________________________

CALLER'S VOICE (circle all that apply) Calm Disguised Nasal Angry Broken Stutter Slow Sincere Lisp Rapid Giggling Deep Crying Squeaky Excited Stressed Accent Loud Slurred Normal Male Female

If voice is familiar, whom did it sound like?_______________________________________ Were there any background noises?______________________________________________ Person receiving call:_________________________________________________________ Telephone number call received at:_____________Date:___________Time;_____________


Typical characteristics of a mail or package bomb.

The likelihood of receiving a bomb in the mail is extremely remote. Unfortunately however, there have been a number of explosive devices mailed over the years which makes it a threat to be considered. Keep in mind that a bomb can be enclosed in a package or envelope, and its appearance is limited only by the imagination of the sender. However, mail bombs have some unique characteristics which may help you in identifying a suspect mailing. It is important to know the type of mail typically received by your facility when applying the following characteristics.

Feel and Balance - Letters that feel rigid, appear uneven or lopsided, or are bulkier than normal. Is there any springiness or undue pressure that can be felt through the package. Contents of a parcel make a sloshing sound. WARNING - EXAMINE MAIL GENTLY!

Foreign Packages - If the item is from another country, ask yourself if it's expected.

Excessive Postage

Oily stains or discoloration.

Place of Origin - Is it a familiar one? Note the delivery postmark; does it show a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address?

Unrequested deliveries - Is correspondence from the sender expected? Do the characteristics of the envelope or package resemble the expected contents? The addressee normally doesn't receive personal mail at the office.

Unusual addressing or delivery instructions - There are unusually restrictive endorsements such as "Personal" or "Private". Unprofessionally wrapped parcel is endorsed "Fragile Handle with Care" or Rush - "Do not Delay". Name and title of addressee are not accurate. The sender is unknown. There is no return address.

Smell - Mailing emits a peculiar odor. There is a smell of marzipan (the smell of almonds) or any other strange smell coming from the package or letter.

Sender's writing - Any mail should be treated with caution if it features a foreign style of writing, not normally received, on the address. This goes along with the place of origin.

Protruding wires - are there any protruding wires, tinfoil, or strings present.

Sound - If there's any unusual sound or noise coming from the package such as a buzzing or ticking noise, the package should be treated with caution.


Procedures when a suspicious article is received by mail

If a suspicious package or letter arrives through the mail or by any other means the following procedures should be followed. If the letter or package has not been touched:

Do not handle the package or letter, or attempt to take it outside. Do not allow anyone else to touch it.

Evacuate the room and surrounding rooms immediately. Leave windows and doors open. Keep others out of the area.

Call CMU Police (911) and explain that there is a possible bomb that has just been received. Give the location of the package or letter, and when and how it arrived as well as any other information that they request. Do not place the call in the same room as the package or letter.

Do not place the package or letter in water.

Follow any instructions that are given by the CMU Police.


If a package or letter is suspected during handling:

 Place the suspicious package or letter in a corner of the room, handling it very gently and making sure not to turn it over or unbalance it.

Make sure the device is placed away from windows and that the windows are open.

Evacuate the room and surrounding rooms, leave windows and doors open. Keep others out of the area.

Call CMU Police (911) and explain that there is a possible bomb that has just been received. Give the location of the package or letter and when and how it arrived as well as any other information that they request. Do not place the call in the same room as the package or letter.

Do not attempt to take the package or letter outside.

Follow any instructions that are given by CMU Police.


Finding an actual explosive device

As with a package or letter bomb, a bomb which has been placed in or around the facility may not have the outward appearance of a bomb. A bomb placed by an individual is normally placed in an inconspicuous location and is generally followed by a telephone threat, though not in all cases. A bomb that has been placed can have any or all of the characteristics of a package or letter bomb. If you notice a suspicious object in an area where it does not belong or has never been before, use the following procedure:



Do not use radio transmission to inform others.

Do not pull the fire alarm.

Do not use the public address system.

Exit the area cautiously and quickly.

Call CMU Police (911) and inform them that there is a possible bomb in the facility. Provide any information about the object that you have. Follow any instructions given by the CMU Police.

Central Michigan University • 1200 S. Franklin St. • Mount Pleasant, Mich. 48859 • 989-774-4000