Telephone/Written Bomb Threats
The safety of students, faculty, and staff has the highest priority when dealing with a bomb threat.
Types of Bomb Threats
Specific threats are those that indicate a bomb has been placed somewhere within the campus and indicate the exact building or area, time of detonation, and/or reason for placement.
Non-specific threats are threats that do not include all the information in a specific threat.
If you receive a bomb threat by telephone, the below is an outline with some steps to follow:
- When a bomb threat is received 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, stutter, being familiar?
- Attitude of caller such as angry, calm, intoxicated?
- Is the caller 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).
- It is important that you document all that you know and hear. You should record this information on the Bomb Threat Checklist (See link below).
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, the below should be followed:
- 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 typewriting, paper, or 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. This form may be copied. It should be kept at a location where it can be readily accessible such as next to your phone.
All personnel should become familiar with the Checklist. The information obtained from the checklist will assist investigators in determining the validity of a caller and could potentially assist in identifying and apprehending the caller.
The Bomb Threat Checklist may be accessed at this link.
Earthquakes and Extreme Weather
Though earthquakes can be sudden, with no warning, it is wise to know general safety procedures regarding earthquake preparedness. If a severe earthquake occurs, it is generally wise to find a sturdy piece of furniture to get under, such as a table, desk or piano and do not evacuate. If such an article does not exist in your immediate vicinity, find a doorway, support column or other structurally sturdy architectural structure to place yourself in or by. Avoid exterior walls, as collapse of these may prove particularly dangerous. Once the earthquake has subsided, follow the instructions of Campus Security regarding evacuation. If you know of a person who may have become trapped, inform Campus Security, who will notify 911 immediately. Should sheltering or evacuation become necessary, notification will be made via Rave alert, the Peabody information displays, and by Campus Security personnel.
The greatest concern during such weather emergencies is the harm that can be caused by high winds. Flooding and lightning strikes may also be a source of danger. Some terms to know:
A watch is the first alert issued by the National Weather Service when severe storms are possible in your area. This watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for the formation of a severe storm. Remain alert for approaching storms, however you may continue with your routine, or any other activities. Turn on a battery-operated radio to stay alert of any developments.
This warning is issued when a severe storm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately underground to a basement or interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom).
Some danger signs of an approaching tornado are a dark, often greenish looking sky; large hail; dark, low-lying clouds, epecially if rotating; and a loud roar, similar to that of a freight train. Winds may also die down and the air become still just before a tornado hits.
Safety Procedures for high winds and flooding:
- If you are outside when a tornado approaches, if possible, get inside a building at once. If you can’t get to shelter, lie in a ditch or low lying area. Be aware of the potential for flying debris and flooding and stay away from glass, small buildings and fencing.
- If you are in a vehicle, get out and into a building or if there is no time, lie in a ditch or other low lying area.
- Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
- The best protection is an underground shelter or basement, or a substantial steel-framed or reinforced concrete building.
- In any facility always go to the lowest floor possible.
- Stay out of rooms below large roof sections such as a gymnasium.
- If a flood watch or warning occurs for the area you are in, move to higher ground immediately. Do not delay.
- When traveling do not drive through a flooded roadway. Remember a relatively small amount of running water can sweep your car downstream. The depth of the water is not always obvious.
- If a vehicle stalls in water, leave the vehicle immediately and move to higher ground.
- Try not to walk through flooded streets or open areas if possible. The floodwaters may hide dangers such as open manhole covers, sinkholes, or other unseen dangers.
- If you are trapped in a room or other area on campus and cannot get out, please call Campus Security at 667-208-6608.
- Rave alerts and Peabody information displays will be utilized to warn of approaching weather events that may pose a danger.
- Please follow the directions of Campus Security officers when asked to move or evacuate.
For fires, remember the acronym RACE:
- R-Remove yourself from contact with smoke and fire
- A-Alarm-Pull the nearest fire alarm
- C-Call Security at 667-208-6608 from a safe location
- E-Evacuate the building
Fire Safety in the Residence Halls:
- Fire safety starts before the fire. Take note of the nearest fire alarm and stairs. If you envision your escape route ahead of time, it will be easier to respond during an emergency.
- If you hear the fire alarm, assume there is a fire.
- If you are in your room, feel the door to see if it is hot. If it is, don’t go out. Wet a towel and place it under the door to block smoke and then phone for help, giving your room number (be sure to include east or west).
- If the door is not hot, exit your room, closing the door behind you.
- Leave the building immediately.
- Use the stairway to exit.
- DO NOT USE THE ELEVATORS
- Do not prop open the stairway doors.
- Follow the instructions from Campus Security officers regarding assembly areas.
- An RA will take a head count of students in that area.
- In the case of a fire emergency, do not linger in the Plaza area, as emergency personnel will need to access the area to perform their duties.