A bomb threat is defined as communication through the use of mail, e-mail, telephone, telegram, or other instrument of commerce; the willful making of any threat; or the malicious conveyance of false information knowing the same to be false which concerns an attempt being made, or to be made; to kill, injure intimidate any individual; or unlawfully to damage or destroy any building, vehicle, or other real or personal property by means of an explosive.
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 seriously and handled as though an explosive were in the building. There are three reasonable explanations for receiving a bomb threat.
First, the caller has definite knowledge or believes that an explosive or incendiary device has been or will be placed in an area and wants to minimize personal injury or property damage. The caller may be the person who placed the device or someone else who has become aware of such information.
Second, the caller wants to create an atmosphere of anxiety and panic, which will possibly result in a disruption of the normal activities at the target area. Third, the caller wants to bring about or amplify a lack of confidence in existing leadership or programs. By injecting panic into a normal operations situation through fear of the known or unknown, the caller may achieve his or her ultimate goals.
What to do?
If you receive a bomb threat, get as much information from the caller as possible including:
- The location of the device
- The time, if any, the device is scheduled to go off
- The appearance or type of container used for the device
- The reason for placing the device
- The size of the bomb
- The type of explosive used in the device
- The name of the caller or organization taking responsibility
- Any additional information that might be available.
Be aware of background noise, special voice characteristics, music, machinery, etc and Call 911 immediately.
If you receive a bomb threat, do not touch any suspicious packages
- Clear the area around the suspicious package and notify Police immediately.
- When evacuating a building, avoid standing in front of windows or other potentially hazardous areas.
- Do not restrict sidewalks or other areas used by emergency officials.
If you find a bomb, do not touch it or attempt to move it. Call for help and evacuate the area.
- Do not activate the building fire alarm system to achieve evacuation.
- Remain calm but act quickly.
- Promptly secure equipment, research, etc. in safe shutdown condition before leaving.
- Spread the word of the evacuation order to others as you exit the building.