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Bomb Threat/Explosive Device Information

Bomb Threat or Explosive Device

The presence of an explosive device and/or the notification of a bomb threat are situations that the University must be prepared to confront in a calm and professional manner.  Although many bomb threats turn out to be pranks, they must be taken seriously to ensure the safety of the Students, Faculty, Staff and Visitors.

A bomb threat could be written, e-mailed, communicated verbally, or received by phone or social media sites. The majority of bomb threats are delivered by telephone. Generally, a bomb threat call is made for one of two reasons:

  1. The caller has definite knowledge about the explosive device and wants to minimize personal injury.
  2. The caller wants to disrupt normal activities by creating anxiety and panic.

In the event of a bomb or bomb threat:

  • Do not use portable radios, cellular phones, digital phones, or any other electronic devices. These devices have the capacity to detonate an explosive device.
  • Do not turn the lights on or off, have them remain in there current position.


Person receiving the bomb threat telephone call:

  1. While the subject is speaking to you on the phone, attempt to complete the "Bomb Threat Call Checklist" if available.
  2. Make every attempt to:
    1. Stay calm and indicate your desire to cooperate with the Subject. DO NOT antagonize or challenge the subject.
    2. Obtain as much information as possible. Prolong the conversation as long as possible. Ask permission to repeat any instructions to make sure they were understood
    3. Attempt to determine the caller's knowledge of the facility
    4. Identify background noises.
  3. Do not hang up the phone! Signal to someone nearby to call for assistance, if this is not possible, use another phone to call for assistance.
  4. Immediately call Campus Police at 410-617-5911. Inform them of the situation with as much information as available; specifically the location and time the bomb is supposed to explode. Inform your immediate supervisor after informing the police.

Bomb Threat Call Checklist

Download and print the bomb threat call checklist

  • Record time and length of the call
  • Record name of person taking the call  

Questions to ask: Record response and repeat in sequence.

  • When will the bomb explode?
  • Where is the bomb? 
  • What does it look like?
  • What will cause it to explode? 
  • What building is it in?
  • What floor is it on? 
  • What is your name and address?
  • Did you place the bomb? Why? 

Take note of background sounds:

  • Cellular phone call
  • Factory noises
  • Local call
  • Long distance call
  • Music/TV playing
  • Office sounds
  • PA system
  • Restaurant sounds
  • Talking
  • Traffic
  • Weather
  • Wildlife noises

Take note of threat language:

  • Accent 
  • Angry
  • Disguised
  • Incoherent
  • Laughing
If a suspicious item is found:
  1. Do not approach, move, or touch any suspicious item.
  2. Report the exact location and an accurate description of the object to Campus Police at 410-617-5911 and follow instructions.
Campus Police will:
  1. Possibly request those working in the area to assist with the search as they will be more familiar with what does or does not belong there.
  2. Investigate any suspicious items found.
  3. Consult with appropriate campus administrators, Fire, other law enforcement agencies to evaluate whether the bomb threat is credible and if building evacuation is needed.
  4. Request the “Bomb Threat Call Checklist” if one was completed.
Below are some factors to assist in the determination of the threat level. These factors are to be used as a guide only in conjunction with all of the other available information.

Determination of Threat Level:

Low Level - The probable motive is to cause disruption: The Subject is vague in his/her threat, merely stating that there is a bomb at the school, he/she provides no specifics and hangs up quickly.

Medium Level - The Subject gives details such as the size, location, or type of bomb. The Subject stays on the line longer and states a motive for the bomb.

High Level -  The Subject is very detailed and describes the type, power, location or time of detonation. The Subject stays on the line longer or makes multiple calls. The Subject may exhibit advanced knowledge of bombs. In addition, the Subject may make demands such as publicity, money etc.

If an evacuation is ordered: 

  1. When authorization is given to Campus Police Personnel, they will begin to evacuate Students, Faculty and Staff to pre-determined Assembly Areas. Ensure that those with special needs receive assistance in evacuating.
  2. Faculty/Staff should complete a visual check of room/building as they exit.  Report any unusual objects or activity and do not touch any suspicious items. Wait for Law enforcement to begin search.
  3. Establish a command post at least 300 feet from any of the campus buildings. Ensure that it is away from automobiles, refuse containers or mailboxes. Conduct a scan of the area for any suspicious items. Do not use mobile and portable radios or cell phones; employ runners to communicate to Faculty, Staff and Students at Assembly Areas.
  4. Affected area remains under control of emergency personnel until building search is completed and all clear signal is given by Campus Police personnel or other authorized personnel.
  5. In consultation with Campus Police, return Students to class when it is deemed safe.
  6. Police reports are to be completed on all bomb threats.
  7. Debrief Emergency Management Team.