Nine Questions to Ask if a School Receives a Bomb Threat

Today, 01/26/2016, four Jewish educational centers received a bomb threat in the state of Florida. The centers and schools ranged from central Florida to the south Florida area with two being in Palm Beach County. The threats caused all four schools to evacuate all its staff and students and have them stage at a predetermined location until law enforcement deemed the premises to be safe. All four schools had similar threats and fortunately there were no explosive devices found on any campus. At this time authorities are still investigating and requesting anybody with information on the threats to call the local police department.

With the ever-increasing threat to our nation’s schools, explosive devices are a major concern for law enforcement and utilizing explosives in an attack is today’s reality. Therefore, having a bomb threat questionnaire and checklist nearby will assist the school administrators and law enforcement as they attempt to identify the suspect, locate the device, or determine the credibility of the threat.

 9-Point Bomb Threat Questionnaire for the Call-Taker:

  1. When is the bomb going to explode?
  2. Where is it right now?
  3. What does it look like?
  4. Type of bomb is it?
  5. What will cause it to explode?
  6. Did you place the bomb?
  7. Why?
  8. What is your name?
  9. What is your address?

Additional notes to be taken by the call-taker:

  1. Description of the caller’s voice
  2. The threat language used
  3. Background sounds

Sometimes the caller will leave a threat the night before on a voicemail and the school receives it the next morning. If this occurs, the questionnaire and checklist is still applicable. A recording may be helpful when trying to describe the caller since the message can be replayed.

When a school receives a bomb threat there may only be a small window of time to actually speak to the caller; therefore, the call-takers must be very calm and prepared to get as much information out of the caller. Not only does the call-taker have to be a great information gatherer, but they have to be a great listener. Having a solid bomb threat questionnaire and checklist, and a call taker that is prepared to handle a stressful call like this would assist law enforcement greatly when trying to identify the caller. Guardian Defense suggests posting this questionnaire by your front office secretary and safety team leader’s phones, and adding this to your school’s emergency procedures.

Do You Want to Learn More?

To learn more about how to prepare your school, college/university, hospital, church/place of worship, or business for a bomb threat or active shooter incident, please visit our website.

If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our safety experts, click here.

About Steven S. Smith

Steven S. Smith, the President and Founder of Guardian Defense, offers active shooter training programs to staff within schools, colleges, churches, law enforcement agencies, businesses, and hospitals; in order to build confidence and save time in the event of an intruder, active shooter or killer, or other terror attack. Mr. Smith is a current certified law enforcement officer and has a range of experience on school and public safety, and investigation work. He is currently a team leader and instructor on the SWAT Team, for which he joined in 2009. Mr. Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, with a concentration in Criminal Justice, in 2005 from Nova Southeastern University.