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If a bomb threat is received by phone:

  • DO NOT HANG UP, even if you think it’s a prank! Remain calm. Write down the exact wording of threats and pay attention to the caller’s voice (gender, demeanor) and background noises (traffic, music, voices).
  • Take notice of caller ID number on the phone.
  • Ask a lot of questions, using the checklist provided.
  • Contact the University Police at 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone) immediately after the call.

Most bomb threats are received via telephone.* People who make bomb threats often want to provide information to the call-taker: who, what, when, where and why. Knowing what questions to ask and keeping the caller on the phone are important when receiving a telephoned bomb threat.

*Department of Homeland Security

If a bomb threat is received by handwritten note:

  • Call 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone)
  • Handle note as minimally as possible.

If a bomb threat is received by e-mail:

  • Call 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone)
  • Do not delete the message.

If a bomb threat is received by phone:

  • Keep the caller on the phone, and ask a lot of questions using the check list below.
  • Contact the University Police at 617.627.6911 (x66911 from a campus phone) immediately after the call.

Ask Caller:

  • Where is the bomb located? (Building, floor, room, etc.)
  • When will it go off?
  • What does it look like?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will make it explode?
  • Did you place the bomb? Yes/No
  • If yes, why?
  • What is your name?

Document:

  • Responses to above questions
  • Exact words of threat
  • Where is the caller located?
  • Estimated age?
  • Is the voice familiar? If so, who does it sound like?

Caller's Voice:

  • Female
  • Male
  • Accent
  • Angry
  • Calm
  • Clearing throat
  • Coughing
  • Cracking voice
  • Crying
  • Deep
  • Deep breathing
  • Disguised
  • Distinct
  • Excited
  • Laughter
  • Lisp
  • Loud
  • Nasal
  • Normal
  • Ragged
  • Rapid
  • Raspy
  • Slow
  • Slurred
  • Soft
  • Stutter

Background Sounds:

  • Animal noises
  • House noises
  • Kitchen noises
  • Street noises
  • Booth
  • PA system
  • Conversation
  • Music
  • Motor
  • Clear
  • Static
  • Office machinery
  • Factory machinery
  • Local
  • Long distance

Threat Language:

  • Incoherent
  • Message read
  • Recorded message
  • Irrational
  • Profane
  • Well-spoken