Bomb Threat Procedures

Our area experienced two school-related bomb threat incidents yesterday; one at a high school and one at a community college.  Today we’ve been discussing how viable our emergency response procedure is for bomb threats.  We borrowed our procedures from UVa’s Critical Incident Management procedure for handling a bomb threat that is received by telephone, and it involves filling out a form while on the phone with the caller before reporting the incident to the authorities.  Does anyone have experience in dealing with bomb threats?  Also, does anyone else have a bomb-threat checklist that they are required to complete?  Here’s our current procedure:

  • if you receive a bomb threat over the telephone, remain calm, and refer to the Telephone Checklist for Bomb Threats (following this page)
  • try to elicit and compile as much information as possible
  • do not try to immediately notify others or evacuate the building, rather focus on trying to gather as much information as possible
  • if applicable, check the display on your phone and note the number given for the incoming call
  • try to keep the caller on the line as long as possible; do not anger the caller
  • while engaging the caller, pay attention to any background noise and distinctive sounds (machinery, traffic, other voices, music, television, etc.)
  • note any characteristics of the caller’s voice (gender, age, education, accent, etc.)
  • immediately after the caller has ended the call, notify the UVa police at 911.
  • if the threat was left on your voice mail, do not erase.
  • be aware that should a bomb threat be received in writing, the fewest number of people possible should handle the paper, which should be given to the police.
  • if a bomb threat is received by email, it should be saved on the computer of the person who receives it
  • notify the Library’s ERC, as well as your department supervisor.
  • if the authorities order an evacuation, follow established Evacuation procedures (see second section of this manual)