Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Office of Emergency Management Bomb Threat

Bomb Threat/Suspicious Objects




Bomb threat prevention training can help mitigate active threat factors. Here are six steps to take:

  • Analyze your workplace, know where your exits are.
  • Create a supportive environment.
  • Offer communication and empathy training.
  • Commit to a non-violent workplace.
  • Train to recognize warning signs.
  • Practice your workplace action plan.


Register to receive campus emergency notifications.

Personally ensure you have a Bomb Threat Question Card at your workstation.

Periodically review the Bomb Threat Question Card to become familiar with it.



If a bomb threat is received by phone:

REMAIN CALM. All bomb threats should be taken very seriously and handled as though an explosive device is in the building. Do not upset the caller if at all possible.

Listen carefully and try to write down as much information as possible Be polite and show interest.

Try to keep the caller talking to learn more information.

Ask questions to try to determine:

  • The location of the device.
  • When will it detonate?
  • What it looks like.
  • The type of device (timed, motion, remote control)
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Did caller place the bomb?
  • Why?
  • The caller’s name.
  • The caller’s address.
  • The caller’s phone number

Listen to background noise to possibly identify the location of the caller.

  • Do you hear airplanes, train horns, cars driving by, mechanical noises, etc.

If possible, write a note to a colleague to call the authorities or, as soon as the caller hangs up, immediately notify them yourself.

If your phone has a display, copy the number and/or letters on the window display.

Complete the Bomb Threat Checklist immediately. Write down as much detail as you can remember. Try to get exact words.

Immediately upon termination of call, DO NOT HANG UP, but from a different phone, contact authorities immediately with information and await instructions.

Immediately notify Department Director and/or the Department Safety Representative, or an authorized WSU personnel who may order an evacuation of the building.

If evacuation is ordered, evacuate to the designated assembly area, if safe to do so.

If a bomb threat is received by e-mail:

REMAIN CALM. All bomb threats should be taken very seriously and handled as though an explosive device is in the building.

Call 911 immediately.

Do not delete the message.

If a bomb threat is received by a written note or suspicious parcel, or if you find a suspicious object anywhere on the premises:

REMAIN CALM. All bomb threats should be taken very seriously and handled as though an explosive device is in the building.

Keep anyone from handling it or going near it.

Evacuate to the designated assembly area. If that area is unsafe, staff gather at the secondary assembly location.

Promptly write down everything you can remember about the receiving email or parcel or finding the object. This information will be needed by the police.

Do not touch or handle any powder or foreign material that spills onto a surface. If this happens, immediately leave the area and make sure that no one else enters.

Remember to bring any visitor log sheets and hand to the Safety Representative once outside.

If you receive a suspicious package or letter:

Don’t handle the package/letter.

Isolate the package/letter immediately and keep others away from the item.

Do not open, smell, shake, or taste the item.

Close any open doors or interior windows.

Turn off ventilation system (if applicable)

If you develop signs or symptoms of exposure, wash/flush the affected area with water

Call 9-1-1 immediately, then your supervisor.

  • Provide your name, phone number, location (building, room number)
  • Describe the suspicious package/letter and why it is suspicious.
  • Inform 9-1-1 if anyone has any signs or symptoms of exposure.
  • Provide a call-back number for emergency dispatch to contact you.


No return address Stains
Excessive postage Strange odor
Strange sounds Poorly handwritten
Unexpected delivery Misspelled words
Incorrect titles Restrictive notes



Use two-way radios or cellular phones. Radio signals have the potential to detonate a bomb.

Touch or move a suspicious object or package.

If an owner of the parcel/package is not located in a timely manner, or the individual is not familiar with the parcel/package, contact 911 to report the suspicious object or package. EVACUATE THE BUILDING/AREA.


Wait for official “All Clear” from authorized WSU or emergency services personnel before attempting to re-enter the building.

Some events (e.g., active threat, explosions, medical emergencies) can have long-term impacts on individuals. Being able to talk about your experience in a safe, supportive environment may be helpful. If you are interested in confidential counseling and referral services, please peak with your supervisor and/or HRS about the Washington State Employee Assistance Program (EAP).


 –US Dept. Of Homeland Security

View or download Checklist

Video – What You Can Do When There Is a Bomb Threat