What To Do in a Bomb Threat Situation

by Wirnani Garner

Bomb threats come in a number of ways, but there are certain things to do in all of these cases. Although it's hard to do, you really have to concentrate on what to do without panicking. A bomb threat is always a difficult situation, but doing the right things at the right time will make it better for everyone involved (and also make it more possible for the perpetrator to be apprehended). It's most important to listen to the instructions of the authorities in all cases.

Bomb Threat by Telephone

If a bomb threat is made over the phone, don't hang up right away. Try to get as much information as possible from the caller. Ask him questions, such as when the bomb is supposed to go off, where the bomb has been placed, when he placed the bomb, what kind of bomb it is, who the target of the bomb is, who the caller is, and so on. If these questions are being answered, keep the caller on the phone with more questions (e.g., including what the caller’s address is). During this time, listen to the perpetrator's voice and try to detect any dialect, whether the caller is male or female, and the caller's tone of voice. Write down what time the call was placed and other significant characteristics of the caller and the phone call. Write down all of the answers that the caller gives you and any information that you notice about the caller. When the phone call does end, call the authorities, as well as the building administration or management.

Written Bomb Threat

When the threat is made by email or on paper, call the police immediately. Save the note for the authorities in the same condition it was received in. For paper notes, handle it as little as possible—the police will want to get an analysis of it just in case there are fingerprints or other clues that could lead to the perpetrator. The more the letter is handled by another person, the less the chance of finding this evidence.

For Any Bomb Threat Situation

Don't touch any suspicious objects—report them to the police. Depending on the instructions given by authorities, leave the building with your belongings or immediately take cover. Leave the doors and windows open, and don’t touch the light switches. When leaving the building, don't use the elevators—only use the stairs. Upon reaching the exit, get as far away from the building as possible and obey the police or other authorities who have responded to the call.

About the Author

Wirnani Garner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy and works in the medical profession. Her articles focus on health-related subjects, though Garner is proficient in researching and writing about a diverse range of topics.

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