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Emergency Procedures: Bomb Threat


  • Remain calm
  • Do not hang up; keep the caller on the line as long as possible, and listen carefully
  • Obtain as much information as possible
  • Use the bomb threat checklist

Ask questions such as:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is the bomb right now?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What does it look like?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Why did you place the bomb?
  • What's your name?

Take notes about the call, such as:

  • Identity: Male, female, age
  • Voice: Loud, soft, high-pitched, deep, raspy, hoarse, nasal, pleasant
  • Background noise: Office, factory, street, traffic, train, airplane, animals, party, music
  • Speech: Accented, deliberate, fast, slow, lisp, slang, taped/recorded, stuttered, slurred
  • Manner: Calm, angry, rational, irrational, coherent, incoherent
  • Time of call
  • Exact words
  • Phone number (Caller ID)
  • Any other pertinent information

Call, or have someone else call, USC Police at 911

  • State your location and report the information you noted
  • If unable to speak to the police dispatcher, call 911 and leave the line open to allow the dispatcher to listen in on the conversation


  • Call USC Police at 911 (emergency) or 803-777-4215 (non-emergency) depending on the situation
    • State your location and report the information in the written threat
    • Stay on the phone until released by the dispatcher
  • Don't touch or move the letter; it should NOT be altered or destroyed
  • Preserve the scene for USC Police
  • Prevent others from handling or going near the letter
Columbia, SC 29208 803-777-7000
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