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Today's Tip

May 08, 2000

The ABCs of Bomb Threats:

Always Be Calm (Plus Alert, Observant, Inquiring, Wary, Quick, Cautious and Prepared)

If a telephone bomb threat is received . . .

Remain calm and try to take note of the following:

* The exact words of the caller.

* Whether the voice is male or female.

* Whether the caller sounds young, middle-aged or elderly.

* Whether the voice has an accent.

* Whether the voice sounds familiar.

* Any background noise.

* Exact time the caller hung up.

Ask the caller these questions:

* When is the bomb going to explode?

* Where is the bomb right now?

* What type of bomb is it?

* What does the bomb look like?

* Why did you place the bomb?

The caller may not answer any questions, but any information will be helpful.


* Notify local police at once.

* While awaiting police, notify personnel in your organization assigned to check specific areas.

* Avoid panic, and don't alarm employees.


Assigned areas should be small enough to search within 20 minutes. This will save time deciding whether to evacuate the building. Most bombs are planted on the street at basement-window level near the building. Attention should be given to restrooms, trash receptacles, false ceilings and storage areas that have easy public access.

Do not disturb suspicious packages.

Let bomb disposal experts check them.

Arrival of police

When officers arrive, a brief meeting will be held with the search personnel. If the building has not been evacuated, the management will again evaluate the situation and decide whether to evacuate. This decision should take into consideration the results of the search made by building personnel.


* Most important: Remain calm and obtain information accurately.

* Organize search teams and plan evacuation in advance.

* Be alert for suspicious persons in your area.

* Notify police immediately after a bomb threat.

* Do not touch suspicious packages. Move all personnel to a safe area and wait for police.

Source: Los Angeles Police Department

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