A bomb threat may come to the attention of the receiver in various ways. It is important to compile as much information as possible. Please do not attempt to notify or evacuate an entire building as this could consume valuable time that would be better used to gather important information. Please keep in mind that the vast majority of bomb threats are false and are primarily intended to elicit a response from the building occupants. In the case of a written threat, it is vital that the document be handled by as few people as possible as this is evidence that should be turned over to the Campus Police Department. If the threat should come via e-mail, make sure to save the information on your computer. Most bomb threats are transmitted over the telephone; thus, the following instructions will be provided with that assumption.
- Remain calm and immediately refer to the Bomb Threat Checklist. If applicable, pay attention to your telephone display and record the information shown in the display window.
- The objective is to keep the caller on the line as long as possible to attempt to gather as much information as possible. Try not to anger the caller at any time.
- 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.).
- Attempt to obtain information on the location of a device (building, floor, room, etc.).
- Attempt to obtain information on the time of detonation and type of detonator.
- Immediately after the caller has ended the call, notify the Campus Police Department at (601)877-3000. If possible call Campus Police using a different phone while keeping the caller on the line.
- If the threat was left on your voice mail, do not erase.
- Notify the immediate supervisor within your work area.
- If an evacuation occurs all persons outside of the building should keep away from windows and other glass areas. If the building structure is affected persons should seek shelter in another building or in an area directed.
The decision to evacuate a University facility should be made after a thorough evaluation of the information available, including but not limited to:
- the nature of the threat
- the specificity of location and time of detonation
- circumstances related to the threat (i.e. political climate, series of events leading to the threat etc.)
- discovery of a device or unusual package, luggage, etc.
Subsequent Procedures & Information
Staff can be of assistance to the Police Departments in several ways. Staff will be more familiar with their work area than the police officers. As the search is conducted, staff may be asked to identify boxes or objects in their work area. The importance of good housekeeping will be very apparent at this time. Throughout the year, it is important to keep areas free of unnecessary debris. If an evacuation is necessary, classes will be dismissed. The Chief of Police may make a decision to evacuate a building without consultation. If a device, package, bag, etc. is discovered, Campus Police Department will notify the surrounding Police Fire Departments, who will organize a search team and direct the search. Other emergency units will be alerted to the threat and asked to stand by for further instructions. Persons leaving the building should report to a specified location for further instructions.
The decision to resume normal activities in the building will be made jointly by the Police Chief or a designee in consultation with the President and/or appropriate individuals in the University administration after police and fire personnel have deemed the affected area clear. Campus Police will interview the person who received the threat.