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Bomb Threat

If you receive a PHONE CALL about a bomb threat, remain calm and follow these instructions:

  1. Attempt to keep the caller on the phone line as long as possible.
  2. Ask caller to repeat the message and record every word. 
  3. Use the telephone bomb threat checklist (below).
    • Ask for the exact location where the is located
    • Get as much information as possible about the caller, i.e., vocal characteristic, race, sex, group affiliation, why the bomb was placed.
    • Listen for clues from background noises, which might indicate the caller's identification and location.
  4. Immediately after the caller hangs up, report the threat to the Vanderbilt University Police Department. Make this and other notifications on a different phone if possible. Officials may be able to trace the call via Star 69 or caller ID.
  5. Remain available when law enforcement personnel arrive. They will want to interview you.
  6. Do not spread rumors.

If you receive a WRITTEN MESSAGE about a bomb threat, remain calm and follow these instructions:

  1. Avoid handling the message unnecessarily in order to preserve evidence such as possible fingerprint(s), whether the message was hand written or typed, the kind of paper used, and postal marks. This will prove essential in tracing the threat and identifying the writer.
  2. While written messages are usually associated with generalized threats and extortion attempts, a written warning of a specific device may occasionally be received; it should never be ignored.
  3. Immediately contact Vanderbilt University Police Department.
  4. Do not spread rumors.

To contact the Vanderbilt University Police Department in an emergency:

  • Call 911 from any campus phone.
  • Call (615) 421-1911  from any other phone.

Bomb Threat Notes

Exact time of call: _____________________________________ AM / PM

Exact words of caller:_________________________________________



Questions to ask the caller:

  1. When is bomb going to explode? ____________________________
  2. Where is the bomb? ______________________________________
  3. What does it look like?_____________________________________
  4. What kind of a bomb is it? __________________________________
  5. What will cause it to explode?________________________________
  6. Did you place the bomb? ___yes  ____no
  7. Why? __________________________________________________
  8. Where are you calling from? ________________________________
  9. What is your address? _____________________________________
  10. What is your name? _______________________________________

Caller's Voice (Circle all that apply):

   Calm       Disguised   Nasal       Angry
   Broken   Stutter        Slow        Sincere
   Lisp        Rapid          Giggling   Deep
   Crying    Squeaky      Excited    Stressed
   Accent    Loud           Slurred     Normal

If the voice is familiar, who does it sound like? _____________________


List any background noises you remember hearing:__________________



Person receiving call: _________________________________________

Telephone number call received at: ______________________________

Date: ______________________________________________________