When receiving a bomb threat of any kind, immediately contact the police at 911. With help on the way, consider the following:
If you receive a bomb threat by telephone:
The person receiving the call should remain calm, concentrate on the exact wording of the message, and obtain as much information as possible.
- Do not hang up the telephone
- Do not put the caller on hold
- Do not attempt to transfer the call
Pay close attention to the caller and his/her words and speech:
- Does the caller have any distinguishing voice characteristics such as an accent, high-pitched voice, stutter, being familiar?
- Attitude of caller, such as angry, calm, intoxicated?
- Is the caller angry, excited, irrational, or agitated?
- Is the caller a man or woman, young, middle-aged, old?
- If you have caller ID, note the phone number of the caller
- If possible, record the message
- Listen for background noises (traffic, music, radio, house noises, aircraft, PA system)
- Document all that you know and hear. This is very important. This should include filling out the bomb threat checklist (shown below).
In the event of a written threat:
While written messages are usually associated with generalized threats and extortion attempts, a written warning of a specific device may occasionally be received. It should never be ignored. When a written threat is received, follow these steps:
- Save the envelope or package and all enclosed materials. Once the message is determined as a bomb threat, further handling should be avoided.
- Every possible effort must be made to retain evidence, such as handwriting or type, paper, and postal markings, which may assist in tracing the threat and identifying the writer.
Bomb Threat Checklist
The Bomb Threat Checklist form is a useful response guide that should be kept in a readily accessible place, such as next to your phone. This form may be copied.
All personnel should become familiar with the Bomb Threat Checklist. The information obtained from the checklist will assist investigators in determining the validity of a caller and potentially assist in identifying and apprehending the caller.