Bomb Threat and Suspicious Object

It is possible, although highly unlikely, that a staff member may someday receive a threatening telephone call, letter or e-mail, or might receive a suspicious parcel or discover a suspicious item somewhere on campus. 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.

Telephone Threat

  • Remain calm. Do not hang up! Listen carefully.
  • Try to keep the caller calm and talking so that you can gather more information. Write down all information (see Bomb Threat Checklist).
  • Attempt to find out why the caller is upset.
  • Note any characteristics about the call and caller:
    • Time of the call
    • Age and sex of the caller
    • Emotional state
    • Background noises
    • Speech pattern, accent
  • Identify the type of threat and note any details offered:
    • When is the bomb going to explode?
    • What does it look like?
    • Where is the bomb located?
    • What kind of device is it?
  • Immediately after the call ends press *57 (to trace the call) and follow the recorded instructions. Then notify University police (911) and supply them with the information obtained.

Written Threat

  • If the threat is received by mail, do not further handle the letter, envelope or package.
  • If the threat is received by e-mail, save the entire e-mail message, including any attachments, and print out a copy for police.
  • Call University police at 911 and notify your supervisor.

Suspicious Parcel, Mail, Etc.

  • Letter and Parcel Bomb Recognition Clues
    • Foreign mail, air mail and special delivery
    • No return address
    • Restrictive markings such as "confidential," "personal," etc.
    • Excessive postage, multiple stamps
    • Excessive weight, rigid envelope
    • Lopsided or uneven envelope
    • Handwritten or poorly typed address
    • Protruding wires or tinfoil
    • Incorrect titles or titles with no name, misspelled words
    • Excessive securing material (i.e., tape, string)
    • Oily stains or residues
    • Mysterious delivery
    • Shows a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address
  • Do not handle! Keep anyone from going near it.
  • Leave the area, notify your supervisor and call University police (911).
  • If an evacuation is warranted, University police will activate the building fire alarm.
  • Evacuate the building by walking to the nearest exit and calmly direct others to do the same. Once outside, move to a clear area at least 150 feet from the affected building. Keep walkways and roads clear for emergency responders.
  • Do not re-enter the building until advised by emergency response personnel, even if the alarms have ceased.

Bomb Threat Checklist

  • Exact time of call
  • Exact words of caller
  • 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?
    • Why?
    • Where are you calling from?
    • What is your address?
    • What is your name?
  • Caller's Voice
    • Calm
    • Deep
    • Stutter
    • Stressed
    • Slow
    • Loud
    • Accent
    • Nasal
    • Crying
    • Broken
    • Angry
    • Lisp
    • Slurred
    • Giggling
    • Rapid
    • Excited
    • Disguised
    • Sincere
    • Squeaky
    • Normal
  • If voice is familiar, whom did it sound like?
  • Were there any background noises?
  • Remarks
  • Person receiving call
  • Telephone number call received at
  • Date