Be Prepared: Handling a Bomb Threat

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Imagine that your work phone rings. You pick up the receiver, but before you can get out a greeting, you hear something that leaves you shell-shocked — there’s a bomb on campus. What would you do?       

“Most bomb threats turn out to be false, but they can still be disruptive and should be taken seriously,” said Andy Altizer, director of Emergency Preparedness. “But there are a few things that you can do to assist campus police if you are ever faced with a bomb threat.”
Here are four steps to remember:

  • Stay calm. This includes keeping your voice steady.
  • Ask questions (and take notes). The caller might not respond to all of the questions, but you need to try and get as much information as possible. Here are some questions to ask: When will it explode? Where is it right now? What kind of bomb is it? Did you place the bomb? Who is the target? Are there secondary devices?
  • Pay attention to details. Note the date and time of the call, as well as the caller’s speech patterns, emotional state (is he angry or calm?), background noise (do you hear traffic, people talking, or music?), and age and gender.
  • Call the police. Call 911 from a campus phone or 404-894-2500 from a cell phone immediately to share the details of your call with the Georgia Tech Police Department. Assist police as requested.

Just to be safe and prepared, have a Bomb Threat Checklist near your phone to help you remember important points and to use to take notes on. Download one here.

Altizer also recommends that you download the Emergency Preparedness In Case of Crisis app, which is free and available for Apple and Android devices. The app provides quick access to information on how to handle situations including bomb threats and severe weather.

To download the app, Apple users can click here, and Droid users can click here.



  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Created: 10/01/2013
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016

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