Bomb threats are part of being involved in a highly visible industry. There is always the possibility that the next bomb threat received may be real. Therefore, it is extremely important that the procedures established for handling a bomb threat are understood and followed.
When a bomb threat has been received the police and the University of Maryland Global Campus Security Office must be notified immediately.
Bomb threats are usually delivered by telephone and are usually given to the first person who answers the telephone. The goal is to keep the caller on the phone as long as possible. It is extremely important that the person receiving the threat record exactly what was said. The caller should engage in conversation to obtain as much information as possible about the location of the bomb, when it is to be denoted, why it is in the building, and who is responsible. Attention should be given to any background noises, tones, or accents which might help in identifying the caller.
If the bomb threat is nonspecific (no location or time of detonation is given), the threat may be a hoax. The police, along with the locations' security department or property management will decide on the proper course of action. The decision may include a building evacuation or building search. The decision to evacuate must be made after considering many subjective factors and in many cases is determined by the philosophy of the local agency responsible for handling bomb threats. In general, the decision to evacuate should be made on the apparent legitimacy of the threat.
Examples that may constitute a legitimate threat:
One or all of the following could be used for a full evacuation. The police will direct what specific actions to take:
If a partial evacuation of a specific area is ordered by the police, the following evacuation steps could be taken:
If a location was given in the threat, a search of the area may be necessary. Once approved by the police, security and property management personnel will assist the police in the search. Other staff members, knowledgeable of the location, could be called upon to assist in the search.