Bomb Threat | Webster University

Bomb Threat

A bomb threat may come to our attention in a variety of ways. It is important to compile as much information as possible. In the case of a written threat, it is vital that the document be handled by as few people as possible. This evidence should be turned over to the campus police department. If the threat comes through e-mail; save the information on the computer. If, the threat is obtained by voice mail; save the message. In all cases of bomb threats, notify Public Safety immediately. Most bomb threats, however, are made over the telephone. Therefore, the following instructions are provided.

Remain calm and immediately refer to the bomb threat checklist. Pay attention to your telephone display (if applicable) and record the information shown in the display window.

Keep the caller on the line as long as possible to attempt to gather as much information as possible. Try not to anger the caller at any time. Pay attention to background noises and distinctive sounds, such as machinery, traffic, other voices, music, television, etc.

Note any characteristics of the caller's voice (race, gender, age, sexuality, education, accent, etc).

Attempt to obtain a location of advice (building, floor, room, etc). Attempt to obtain information on the time and type of detonator.

*Immediately after the call has ended, notify Public Safety and keep the information confidential.

Once Public Safety is notified, they will notify the VP of Finance and Administration and/or the senior administrator on duty and advise them of the situation.

If the location of the bomb is known, Public Safety, along with members of physical plant and staff most familiar with the location's normal appearance, will conduct a search of the area quietly and without fanfare.

Teams will be assigned to search designated areas. If suspicious packages or items are found, they will not be moved or touched. St. Louis County Bomb and Arson will be notified to investigate.

Decision to Evacuate

The decision to evacuate a building and/or the campus shall be made after a thorough evaluation of the information that is available. That information shall include, but is not limited to:

  1. The nature of the threat
  2. The specific location and time of detonation
  3. Circumstances related to the threat
  4. The discovery of a device or unusual package, luggage, etc.

Bombs by Mail

Receiving a bomb in the mail is remote. Unfortunately, over the years a small number of explosive devices have been mailed that have resulted in injury and/or death.

Mail bombs can be enclosed in a letter, package or envelope and may appear to be safe. However some unique characteristics may assist in identifying bombs:

  1. Mail bombs may bear restricted endorsement, such as “Personal or Private.”
  2. Addressee's name or title may be inaccurate.
  3. Return address may be fictitious or not available.
  4. The package may be addressed with distorted handwriting or cut and-paste lettering.
  5. Protruding wires, aluminum foil , oil stains, or a peculiar odor may be present.
  6. Cancellation or postmark may show a different location than the return address.
  7. Mail bombs may have excessive postage.
  8. Mail may feel rigid, uneven or lopsided.

If you are suspicious

  1. Do not open mail.
  2. Isolate mail and evacuate the immediate area.
  3. Do not put in water or in a confined space.
  4. Open windows in the immediate area.
  5. Contact Public Safety.