Kevin Ian Schmidt

DHS Bomb Threat Checklist

Bomb threats or suspicious items must always be taken seriously. How you react to a bomb threat can be the difference of people living or dying. So what should you do?


Whether the bomb threat is made via phone, handwritten note, email, or other means, the DHS Bomb Threat Checklist provides instructions on how to respond to a bomb threat and a comprehensive list of information that will assist law enforcement in a bomb threat investigation.

Bomb threats are primarily received via phone, but are also made in person, via email, written note, or other means. Most bomb threats are made by individuals wanting to create an atmosphere of anxiety and panic. 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.

Follow these procedures in the event of a bomb threat :

  • Remain calm.
  • Notify authorities immediately:
    • Notify your facility supervisor, such as a manager, operator, or administrator, or follow your facility’s standard operating procedure. (See below for assistance with developing a plan for your facility or location.)
    • Call 9-1-1 or your local law enforcement if no facility supervisor is available.
Check Out: Emergency Response Plan Best Practices

For threats made via phone:

  • Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Be polite and show interest to keep them talking.
  • DO NOT HANG UP, even if the caller does.
  • If possible, signal or pass a note to other staff to listen and help notify authorities.
  • Write down as much information as possible—caller ID number, exact wording of threat, type of voice or behavior, etc.—that will aid investigators.
  • Record the call, if possible.



Download the DHS Bomb Threat Checklist below

View the DHS Bomb Threat Checklist below

DHS Bomb threat checklist

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