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How to handle a Bomb Threat

How explosive devices look

Explosive devices can be made to look like just about anything:
  • pipes
  • books
  • video tapes
  • radios
  • box
  • cameras

What to do if you receive notification of a bomb threat

Phone call
  • Note the telephone line (inside or outside call)
  • If the number is present, record it
  • Write down the exact words used
  • Note voice characteristics (age, gender, accent, temperament, disguised, muffled, etc)
  • Note background sounds (machinery, traffic, children, music, voices, street noise, etc)
Receipt of a written bomb threat
  • Remember the written document is physical evidence
  • Do not allow the document to be handled by anyone but Campus Police Investigators
  • The document may have latent finger prints and will be used for handwriting analysis and/or typewriter and printer comparisons
  • Remember how you got the document (was it left on your desk, handed it to you, delivered in the mail, etc)


The decision to evacuate is a serious responsibility and shall rest with the President, the Vice President for Business & Administration or the head of the affected area If there is a threat of an imminent explosion, and there is no time for delay, the Police Chief or designated representative may make the decision to evacuate. The decision to re-occupy a building or area will be made by the President, the Vice President for Business & Administration or the head of the affected area. Evacuation may be of the entire complex, a certain building, or a particular section of the suspected area.
  • Evacuation should be completed at least 15 minutes before the bomb is scheduled to explode (if detonation time is known)
  • Evacuation should be completed using the closest evacuation route and exit
  • Elevators can be used
  • Desks, lockers, closets, etc. should be left open to lesson the impact of the explosion
  • Evacuation of “a selected area” should be communicated by word of mouth by police personnel
  • Evacuation should be done rapidly and in such a manner not to provoke panic

Search Operations Management

  • The Chief of Police or the ranking officer at the Incident Command Center, has complete charge of the search operation.
  • Employees should search their own areas prior to evacuation
  • Search teams should include someone who works in the suspected area
  • No radio communications or cell phones are to be used within the suspected area to prevent accidental detonation
  • After searching an office space and finding nothing out of the ordinary, close the door to the office space and place a post it note.Do not lock the door.

Finding a suspicious object

  • Do not touch or move it
  • Do not move any equipment or furniture beside it
  • Immediately notify Campus Police by using a runner or corded telephone.
  • Do not use a cell phone, radio or other wireless device.
  • Evacuate all persons



For information about the UTMB Police web site, please contact Sgt. A. DeRanieri

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