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Office of Emergency Management Bomb Threat

Bomb Threat/Suspicious Objects

A bomb threat is generally defined as a verbal or written threat to detonate an explosive device to cause property damage, injuries, or loss of life whether or not such a device actually exists. Take every threat seriously and follow proper procedures. 

  • Register to receive campus emergency notifications through myWSU, and keep your contact information current.
  • Personally ensure you have a Bomb Threat Question Card at your work station.
  • Personally become familiar with the Bomb Threat Question Card.

If you receive a telephone bomb threat:

  • Get the attention of other staff members to help you.
  • Alert the co-worker to call 911 and campus security at 509-335-8548 while you are on the phone with the caller.
  • Retrieve the Bomb Threat Question Card checklist and follow the instructions on the card.
  • Complete the bomb threat card as quickly as possible.
  • Retain the bomb threat card for security to review.
  • Listen carefully to the caller.
  • Be polite and show interest.
  • Keep the caller talking, so you can gather more information.

The 911 dispatch operator will ask:

  • What is the specific threat?
  • Was any information about timing, target and/or location of the explosive device given?
  • Is anyone searching the area for a possible device?
  • Are there any possible suspects?
  • Has anyone claimed responsibility?
  • Has there been any other suspicious activity?
  • Will the building or area be evacuated?
  • If not, will any other precautions or steps be taken?
  • For telephone threats, were any background noises heard?


  • Immediately check your work space and the areas with which you are the most familiar.
  • If any suspicious object (gym bag/backpack) or package is found, DO NOT TOUCH IT and keep others away.
  • Call 911 immediately.
  • If evacuation is ordered, follow the evacuation procedures.
  • Upon leaving your office tape an OK sign on your office door indicating you have checked your area and found nothing suspicious.
  • If the bomb threat is a letter, voicemail, or e-mail contact campus security immediately at 509-335-8548.
  • Continue to take direction from University officials or police.
  • Remain calm. Do not discuss the threat with other staff members. Do not spread rumors.

Special Issues:

  • Avoid using the phone that received the bomb threat.
  • Law enforcement may have a chance to trace the call.
  • Avoid using cell phones, two-way radios, and other wireless communication devices to avoid triggering a possible device.
If you receive a written threat or suspicious parcel, or if you find a suspicious object anywhere on the premises:
  • Do not touch the item and keep others away. Call 9-1-1 immediately.
  • If evacuation is ordered, proceed to the appropriate assembly area.
  • Promptly write down everything you can remember about receiving the letter or parcel, or finding the object. Law enforcement investigators will need this information.
  • Remain calm. Do not discuss the threat with other staff members. Do not spread rumors.