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Safety Guide

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Bomb Threats


The safety of students, faculty, and staff has the highest priority when dealing with a bomb threat.


Types of Bomb Threats


1.      Specific threats are those that indicate a bomb has been placed somewhere within the campus and indicate the exact building or area, time of detonation, and/or reason for placement.

2.      Non-specific threats are threats that do not include all the information in a specific threat.


If you receive a bomb threat by telephone, the below is an outline with some steps to follow:


1.       When a bomb threat is received by telephone, the person receiving the call should remain calm, concentrate on the exact wording of the message, and obtain as much information as possible.

a.      DO NOT hang up the telephone

b.      DO NOT put the caller on hold

c.       DO NOT attempt to transfer the call


2.      Pay close attention to the caller and his/her words and speech:

a.      Does the caller have any distinguishing voice characteristics such as an accent, high pitched, stutter, being familiar?

b.      Attitude of caller such as angry, calm, intoxicated?

c.       Is the caller angry, excited, irrational or agitated?

d.      Is the caller a man or woman, young, middle-aged, old?

e.      If you have caller ID, note the phone number of the caller

f.        If possible, record the message


3.      Listen for background noises (traffic, music, radio, house noises, aircraft, PA system)


4.      It is important that you document all that you know and hear.  This should include filling out the Bomb Threat Checklist (shown below).


Written Threats


While written messages are usually associated with generalized threats and extortion attempts, a written warning of a specific device may occasionally be received.  It should never be ignored. When a written threat is received, the below should be followed:


1.      Save the envelope or package and all enclosed materials.  Once the message is determined as a bomb threat, further handling should be avoided.


2.      Every possible effort must be made to retain evidence, such as handwriting or type writing, paper, postal markings, which may assist in tracing the threat and identifying the writer.


Bomb Threat Checklist


The Bomb Threat Checklist form is a useful response guide.  This form may be copied.  It should be kept at a location where it can be readily accessible such as next to your phone.  


All personnel should become familiar with the following Bomb Threat Checklist.  The information obtained from the checklist will assist for investigative purposes in determining the validity of a caller and potentially assist in identifying and apprehending the caller.


After receiving a bomb threat of any kind, immediately contact the Police at 911.

Johns Hopkins University

 Campus Safety and Security

Bomb Threat Telephone Call Procedures

Purpose Of This Form

The purpose of the Questionnaire is to set forth an orderly sequence of actions to be taken by anyone receiving a bomb threat.  Those actions include:                     REMAIN CALM                               LISTEN

                                                                                      DO NOT PANIC!                               DO NOT INTERRUPT!

Obtain as much information as possible in a logical sequence by completing this form.

Bomb Threat Information

Date of Contact:                                               Time of Contact:             am/pm    Time Contact Ended:            am/pm


Remain Calm And Think….

Exact Message:



Questions To Ask

1.                   When will bomb(s) explode?         

2.                   Where is bomb(s) located?               

3.                   What type of bomb(s)                     

4.                   What does bomb(s) look like?        

5.                   How many bombs are there?         

6.                   Did you place the bomb?                

7.                   Why did you place the bomb(s)      

8.                   What is your name?                        

9.                   Where are you calling from?          

10.               Are you calling from a cell phone?

11.               What is your address?                    

12.               How do I know this is not a prank? ____________________________________________________

Characteristics of Caller                                                            

Sex:      Male       Female                           _Probable Race:         Approximate Age:_____ Accent:____________


Attitude/Voice Sound:       Calm       Excited      Intoxicated      Angry      Vulgar      Loud      Nasally

   Raspy        Rapid       Laughing       Distinct      Stutter      Deep      High-pitched      Lisp      Ragged

   Clearing throat      Cracking voice       Deep breathing       Disguised      Familiar      Quiet      Whispering


Background noises:     traffic     music     laughter     street noises     PA system     animal noises

    house noises     aircraft      emergency vehicle siren

Threat Language:

   Well spoken (educated)       irrational      incoherent      vulgar      rational     taped message


   Security                          Building Management                Local Police                         FBI

Telephone:                             Telephone:                                          Telephone:                              Telephone:_________

Name of person receiving call:____________________________________

Telephone number call received at:________________________________________



Campus Safety & Security at Johns Hopkins University Emergency number: 410-516-7777