Bomb Threat

If notified to evacuate because of a bomb threat:

  1. Follow the directions of emergency personnel.

  2. Turn off any cell phones and do not use radio communication.

  3. Take personal belongings with you.

  4. Before you leave, make a cursory inspection of your area for any unfamiliar/suspicious items. DO NOT touch any suspicious packages. Report any suspicious item to a Public Safety officer or other emergency responders.

  5. Do not turn on or off lights; leave light switches in their position. Turn off electrical equipment if time permits.

  6. DO NOT change the setting of your thermostat. Leave it in the position that it is in.

  7. Leave doors and windows open.

Phoned Threats

  1. DO NOT pull the fire alarm.

  2. Remain calm. Prepare to get as much information as possible about the caller.

  3. Start the telephone's recording device if you have one.

  4. Signal a nearby staff member that the call is a bomb threat. Then, if possible, that staff member should also listen to the call.

  5. Begin to fill out the Phoned Threat Data Sheet.
    • Transcribe the threat exactly as it is stated. Ask the caller to repeat the message. Write down every word spoken by the caller.
    • Then, ask the questions on the checklist in order. Keep the call on the line as long as you can. By asking the questions in order, you will get the maximum amount of useful information before asking a question that causes the caller to hang up.
    • Transcribe the answers to these questions.
    • If the caller refuses to give you the location of the device, say that the building is occupied and that the detonation could result in death or serious injury to many innocent people. Then, repeat the location question. (Remember: The fact that the caller has called at all means that, if the threat is real, they probably do not want to hurt anyone. Reminding them of this might prompt them to tell you where the device is located.)
    • As you are listening, pay attention to background noises and identifying characteristics of the caller's speech, such as accents, speech problems, and emotions.

  6. When the caller hangs up…DO NOT hang up your phone. Keep the line open by leaving the receiver off the carriage or placing it on "HOLD". If trained to do so, attempt to trace the call using your service provider's method.

  7. Take note of the exact time the caller hangs up.

  8. Call Public Safety (909-748-8888). Public Safety will be alert local law enforcement.

  9. Be available after the call, as law enforcement personnel may want to interview you. Give them as much information as possible about the call, the caller, and what you observed. Share the completed Phoned Threat Data Sheet with law enforcement.

  10. To avoid unnecessary panic, DO NOT share this information with other staff, friends, family, media, etc.

Written Threats

Bomb threats can be written in notes, scrawled on walls, or otherwise communicated in writing. While written threats are usually vague and general, they should not be ignored.

If one finds a written threat, he or she should:

  1. Handle the item as little as possible. The item may contain fingerprints or other evidence that can assist in the investigation.

  2. Immediately notify Public Safety (909-748-8888). Do not tell anyone else about the threat. Telling others may spread unnecessary panic. If you feel you and/or others are in immediate danger call 911.

  3. On a separate piece of paper, rewrite the threat exactly as it reads. On the rewritten copy, write down:
    • Exactly where the written threat was found.
    • The date and time the written threat was found.
    • Any unusual situations or conditions surrounding the discovery of the written threat.
    • Any other persons known to have seen the written threat.

  4. If the item is small, secure the original by placing it in a bag or envelope. This will prevent further handling from damaging possible evidence.

  5. Save all materials including any envelope or container.

  6. DO NOT fold, crumple, tear, or mark the item in any way.

  7. If instructed to do so, hand-deliver the item to Public Safety or wait for a Public Safety officer to arrive on scene. If the threat is written on an immovable object, secure the location and do not allow anyone near it until a Public Safety Officer arrives. Public Safety will decide how to restrict access to the location until the threat is assessed. The door may be locked or guarded, the area cordoned off, or other measures taken.

E-mailed Threats

Bomb threats sent by e-mail have originated from all over the world. Sometimes, they even come from within the campus. Unless the sender has taken extraordinary measures to conceal his or her e-mail address, e-mailed threats can be traced back to the true sender. Make sure students are aware of the serious nature of making a bomb threat by e-mail and that the University Administration will not tolerate any inappropriate use of e-mail.

When a threatening e-mail is received:

  1. Leave the message open on the computer.

  2. Notify Public Safety (909-748-8888).

  3. Public Safety will then document the message by printing it, photographing it, or copying it down. All information, especially the header of the e-mail, should be recorded. This should include:
    • Recipient's name and e-mail address.
    • Sender's name and e-mail address.
    • Date and time sent.
    • Server path the e-mail took.
    • Subject of the e-mail.
    • Body of the e-mail.
    • Any automatic signature appended.

  4. It is crucial to save the original e-mail. If you do not know how to do this, do not attempt to save the message, as you may delete it.

  5. Public Safety will then contact the University's Information Technology Services.

  6. The ITS Administrator will save any server logs and mail logs that show how the message was handled.

  7. The University President will coordinate the handover of the log data to the proper authorities.

Verbal Threats Made in Person

Studies have shown that, in many cases, persons who commit violent acts told someone else that they were going to do it before the incident occurred. Threats made in person, whether communicated directly or overheard, can be:

  • Specific … "Wait until everyone sees the boomer I've got in my dorm room."

  • Veiled … "Something really big is going to happen in the library."

  • Direct … "Don't make me mad, Bob, or I'm gonna go nuts on you."

  • Indirect … "I just wish this whole school was wiped off the face of the earth."

When a person receives a threat verbally:

  1. Take the threat seriously.

  2. Contact Public Safety (ext. 8888 or 748-8888). If you feel you and/or others are in immediate danger call 911.

  3. If possible or practical, attempt to detain the person making the threat.

  4. Note the characteristics of the person who made the threat. Make these notes even if you know the identity of the person. They will help police find the threatener, who they may not recognize.
    • name (if known)
    • race
    • sex
    • type and color of clothing
    • body size
    • hair color
    • distinguishing features

  5. The person who received the threat should write down the threat exactly as it was communicated. Include:
    • Exact wording.
    • Who made the threat.
    • The date and time of the threat.
    • Where the person who made the threat is now.
    • Any physical characteristics noted about the person who made the threat.


In a number of school bombing and school shooting cases perpetrated by students, other students had heard rumors that the perpetrator was going to commit a violent act. Following up on rumors is the key to stopping violence that was forewarned. Contact Public Safety (909-748-8888) and share any information.