Bomb threats or suspicious items should always be taken seriously. How quickly and safely you react to a bomb threat could save lives, including your own.
If you receive a bomb threat or see something that looks suspicious,
do not assume it's a hoax;
If you See Something, Say Something
Do not touch, move or open the object.
- Isolate area by moving people away from the immediate location.
- When you are away from the suspicious item, call 911.
A bomb threat can be received via the phone, mail, fax, email, note or in person. Most important actions to take when receiving a bomb threat:
Remain calm; try to get someone's attention to listen in on the call; and obtain as much information as possible from the caller:
- When is the bomb going to explode?
- Where is it?
- What does it look like?
- What will cause it to explode?
- Why did you place the bomb?
Write down the phone number, if you have caller ID that is displayed. Remember:
- Woman's or man's voice?
- Approximate age?
- Tone of voice?
- Background noise?
Notify police by calling 911. Ask for immediate assistance, follow their instructions and provide the following information:
- Location (building and room number) of the bomb threat.
- Information gathered above.
- Your name and a number to reach you.
A suspicious item is defined as anything that is out of place and cannot be accounted for or any item suspected of being an explosive device.
Typical characteristics of a suspicious item:
- Excessive postage, no postage or noncanceled postage.
- No return address or obviously fictitious return address.
- Packages that are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
- Excessive tape.
- Improper spelling of addressee names, titles or locations.
- Packages that are addressed to someone no longer with your organization or otherwise outdated.
- Rigid, bulky, lopsided or uneven.
Even though your first action during a bomb threat is not to evacuate it's still important to know the difference between
evacuation and sheltering in place.