Emergency Preparedness News and Announcements

Bomb Threat



The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security reports that “bomb threats are most commonly received via phone, but are also made in person, via email, written note, or other means. Every bomb threat is unique and should be handled in the context of the facility or environment in which it occurs. Facility supervisors and law enforcement will be in the best position to determine the credibility of the threat.”

Immediate Action

Treat all bomb threats as serious dangers, even though many prove to be false. Begin filling out the Bomb Threat Telephone Procedure Form as soon as the call is identified as a threat.

General Staff Assignments

  1. If telephone threats or warnings about bombs in the facility are received. Individuals should try to keep the caller on the phone as long as possible by asking the questions outlined in the Bomb Threat Telephone Procedure Form.

Keep a copy of the Bomb Threat Telephone Procedure Form within reach of the person answering the general facility phone line.

  • If the caller does not give the location of the bomb or possible detonation time, the person receiving the call should ask the caller to provide this information.
  • Do not hang up, even if the caller does.
  • It may be helpful to inform the caller that the building is occupied and that a bomb exploding could kill or seriously injure many innocent people.

Bomb Threat Telephone Procedure Form

  1. LISTEN – Keep on the phone for as long as possible
  2. DO NOT interrupt caller except to ask questions below
  3. Call 911 – as soon as possible while on the line, or immediately after.

Person receiving call: 

Phone # call was received on: ( )


Time Call Received: am/pm      End of Call: am/pm

Exact wording of threat:

Ask the caller to repeat the message (rewrite it):

  1. When will the bomb go off?
  2. Time remaining?
  3. Where is the bomb located right now?
  4. What kind of bomb is it? 
  5. What does the bomb look like?
  6. What will cause it to explode?
  7. Is there more than one bomb? How many?
  8. Did you place the bomb? Why?
  9. Where are you calling from?
  10. What is your name?
  11. What is your address?

Caller’s identity/characteristics


  • Male
  • Female
  • Unsure

Approximate Age:

Is the caller’s voice familiar to you?

Voice Characteristics

  • Loud
  • High pitch
  • Raspy
  • Intoxicated
  • Nasal
  • Fast
  • Slow
  • Soft
  • Deep
  • Pleasant
  • Distinct
  • Foul
  • Excellent
  • Good


  • Stutter
  • Slurred
  • Good
  • Lisp
  • Fair
  • Poor
  • Nasal

Origin of Call

  • Local
  • Long distance
  • Caller ID shown 
  • Internal (from within building)


  • Local
  • Not Local
  • Regional
  • Foreign Country


  • Angry
  • Calm
  • Message Read
  • Taped
  • Foul Language
  • Well-spoken
  • Irrational/not logical
  • Incoherent/unclear

Background Sounds

  • Quiet
  • Voices
  • Music
  • Animals
  • Mixed
  • Party
  • Airplanes
  • Trains
  • PA
  • Radio/TV
  • Office machines
  • Factory machines
  • Street traffic
  • Cafe
  • Glassware
  • Chaos
  • Household appliances
  • Weather: Rain/Thunder
  • Other (please specify: )

Other Aspects of Voice/personality/questions or communication style that may help identify this individual

Does caller seem familiar with building by description of bomb location?

  • Much
  • Some
  • None


Was the caller familiar with the general location/area?

  • Much
  • Some
  • None


Local Health Dept. notified: Time: am/pm    By:

Time this form completed: am/pm    By:

Bomb Threat Telephone Procedure Form adapted from Bomb Threat Call Procedures, Dept. of Homeland Security.

  1. Notify:
    1. Administrator and/or the highest-ranking staff member on duty (Incident Commander), will activate the Incident Command System (ICS)
      Time: am/pm    By:
    2. Police Department or local law enforcement (call 911)
      Time: am/pm    By:
  2. If staff member(s) receive written threats or warnings about bombs notify:
    1. Administrator and/or the highest-ranking staff member on duty
    2. Police Department or local law enforcement (call 911)

Specific Staff Assignments

  1. Activate the Incident Command System (ICS). The most qualified staff member (in regard to the Incident Command System) on duty at the time will assume the Incident Commander position. If severity of incident warrants, then appoint other positions of ICS structure.
  2. Facility management staff report to the Incident Command Post for a briefing and instruction.
  3. Be prepared to activate Evacuation Procedures.
  4. Activate recall roster, if necessary.
  5. Administrator or Incident Commander instructs staff members to discreetly and quietly conduct a thorough search of their respective areas and departments.
    1. If caller mentions a location for the device, staff will be instructed to search that location first.
    2. If the bomb threat is not for a specific area or floor, the (insert job/IC title) in each area of the facility shall assign personnel to begin the search of the entire facility.
    3. If the bomb threat occurs during a time when personnel on duty are limited, the facility Incident Commander will assign which staff to search which areas.
    4. Staff members look for any unusual or extraneous items, such as boxes, packages, bags, etc.
    5. If any unusual item is found, staff members are not to disturb it.
    6. Residents should NOT be involved in the search.
    7. Staff should remain calm to not upset the residents.
  6. Do not approach or touch a suspicious package/device and immediately evacuate everyone from such discoveries and report all findings to the Administrator or Incident Commander.
  7. Coordinate all actions with law enforcement officials.
    1. Assign a staff member to meet the responding agency at (location, example: front entrance) and direct/escort to facility Incident Command Center.
    2. If a suspected bomb is located within the building, the responsibility for investigation will be that of the law enforcement officials having jurisdiction over such matters.
    3. Establish contact with the officer in charge and relay all relevant information regarding the situation.
    4. Provide keys for complete facility access (public and private spaces including staff lockers)
    5. Administrator or designee remains with Search Commander during search to provide assistance and counsel
    6. Should be responsible for making the decision regarding evacuation, which would be activate via Evacuation Emergency Procedures.
    7. Ensure staff members and residents are accounted for and safe.
    8. Ask visitors to leave the premises.
  8. Do NOT turn on/off lights or other electrical equipment – use flashlights if necessary.
  9. Do NOT use 2-way radios, cell phones, or other cellular/transmitting equipment.
  10. Do NOT TOUCH OR MOVE anything unusual or suspicious. If anything suspicious or unusual is discovered, staff are to contact the Incident Command Center and clear the area immediately of all residents, staff, and wait for instructions.
  11. LOOK for anything you cannot IMMEDIATELY identify or that appears to be unusual or out of place. The device may/may not be labeled “bomb” or “danger.”
  12. The responding agency will provide direction to the facility Incident Command Center Officer dependent upon the scenario:
    1. A bomb has been found.
    2. A bomb has not been found, but the threat remains credible.
    3. 3. The threat is declared to be unfounded.
  13. Only the responding agency can declare an “All Clear.”
    1. Based on directives from the responding agency, the facility Incident Command Center will then communicate the appropriate message(s) to staff.

Preparing Ahead/Training

  • Train all staff on the Bomb Threat Procedure
  • Teach staff members who normally receive telephone calls from the general public the Bomb Threat Telephone Procedure

It is recommended that a report be made to OIG, local Emergency management, local Public Health Department, KCHFS Adult Services Division, KY Association of Health Care Facilities and/or LeadingAge KY and other agencies as directed by facility policy.

Although this template checklist and policy has been developed and reviewed by topic experts, this template is not intended to provide legal advice. The information contained in this checklist and policy is information only to assist the facility in developing emergency response polices and plans based on the uniqueness of each facility.

It is recommended that the facility define specifically the time-frame for words such as “immediately,” and “periodically,” etc. The time-frame for these words may differ with each policy. For example, in one policy instead of using “periodically,” the facility may use “quarterly;” in another policy, instead of using “periodically,” the facility may use “monthly.”

See also: Evacuation, Suspicious Package