What To Do in an Emergency

Bomb Threats

If you receive a bomb threat by telephone, here are some helpful things to keep in mind:

  • Remain calm. When the bomb threat is received, the person taking the call must remain calm and obtain as much information as possible.
  • DO NOT put the caller on hold.
  • DO NOT attempt to transfer the call.
  • The person taking the call should immediately notify another staff person in the office, preferably while the caller is still on the line.
  • Pay attention to the caller and his/her words and speech: does the caller have any distinguishing voice characteristics such as an accent, stuttering or mispronunciations?
  • Is the caller angry, excited, irrational or agitated?
  • Is the caller a man or woman, young, middle-aged or old?
  • If you have caller ID, note the phone number of the caller.
  • Listen for background noises (traffic, train whistle, music, radio, TV, children, airplanes, etc).
  • It is important to document all that you know and hear. This should include filling out the Bomb Threat Checklist (see below).
  • Call the Office of Public Safety at 911 from a campus phone or 607-274-3333 from a cell phone.
  • Do not evacuate until told to do so by the Office of Public Safety.

Bomb Threat Checklist

  • Stay calm and collect all the information you can. Take notice of the caller’s voice and listen for any background noise.
  • Name of call taker.
  • Date and time received.
  • Way threat was reported (telephone, e-mail, in person, by mail).
  • Location threatened.
  • Exact words used to make threat.

Questions to Ask the Person Making the Threat

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is the bomb located?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What does it look like?
  • Who placed the bomb?
  • Why was the bomb placed?
  • Where are you calling from?