The University of Iowa

Critical Incident Management Plan

 

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Bomb Threat

A bomb threat may come to the attention of the receiver in various ways. It is important to compile as much information as possible. Please DO NOT attempt to notify or evacuate an entire building as this could consume valuable time that would be better used to gather important information. Please keep in mind that the vast majority of bomb threats are false and are primarily intended to elicit a response from the building occupants.

In the case of a written threat, it is vital that the document be handled by as few people as possible as this is evidence that should be turned over to the Department of Public Safety. If the threat should come via e-mail, make sure to save the information on your computer. Most bomb threats are transmitted over the telephone; thus, the following instructions will be provided with that assumption.

Immediate Action

  • Remain calm and immediately refer to the attached bomb threat checklist. If your telephone is equipped, pay attention to the display and record the information shown in the display window.
  • The objective is to 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.
  • While engaging the caller, pay attention to any background noise and distinctive sounds (machinery, traffic, other voices, music, television, etc.).
  • Note any characteristics of the caller’s voice (gender, age, education, accent, etc.).
  • Attempt to obtain information on the location of a device (building, floor, room, etc.).
  • Attempt to obtain information on the time of detonation and type of detonator.
  • Immediately after the caller has ended the call, notify the University Police (UIPD) by dialing 911.
  • If the threat was left on your voice mail, do not erase.
  • Notify the immediate supervisor within your work area.
  • See Telephone Bomb Threat Checklist (pdf)

Decision

The decision to evacuate a University facility shall be made after a thorough evaluation of the information available, including but not limited to:

  • The nature of the threat
  • The specificity of location and time of detonation
  • Circumstances related to the threat (i.e. political climate, series of events leading to the threat, etc.)
  • Discovery of a device or unusual package, luggage, etc.

The University Police will dispatch a search team and will organize the search. Other emergency units will be alerted to the threat and asked to stand by for further instructions. Any employee who wants to leave the building will be permitted to do so. Persons leaving the building should report to a specified location for further instructions. (See Dealing with A Disrupted Work or Academic Environment).

Decision Maker(s)

The decision to evacuate will be made by the Assistant Vice President and Director of Public Safety or designee in consultation with the President and/or appropriate individuals in University administration. (See Evacuation/Rescue Plan for Persons with Disabilities).

Subsequent Procedures/Information

Staff can be of assistance to the University Police in several ways. Staff will be more familiar with their work area than the UIPD officers. As the search is conducted, staff may be asked to identify boxes or objects in their work area. The importance of good housekeeping will be very apparent at this time. Throughout the year, it is important to keep areas free of unnecessary debris. If an evacuation is necessary, classes will be dismissed. If a device, package, bag, etc. is discovered, University Police will notify the Johnson County Bomb Squad for assistance.

The decision to resume normal activities in the building will be made jointly by the Assistant Vice President & Director of Public Safety or a designee in consultation with the president and/or appropriate individuals in University administration. University Police will want to interview the person who received the threat.