Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

If you or a staff member receives a bomb threat

A bomb threat may be received by anyone. Vital information that may save lives and property can be gained from the caller.

  • Be calm and courteous and listen carefully.
  • Take notes, if possible, without becoming distracted from what the caller is saying.
  • Do not interrupt; do not place the caller on hold or attempt to transfer the call.
  • If possible, quietly attract the attention of someone nearby, indicate the nature of the call and have that person notify Public Safety Dispatch, or call 911 from another phone.
  • Inform the caller that detonation could cause serious injury or loss of life.

If caller is agreeable to further conversation, or after the call is over, complete the Bomb Threat Call Checklist.

Notify Public Safety dispatch ext. 4444 or local law enforcement 911 immediately. Ask for guidance as to whether to evacuate the facility prior to Public Safety or law enforcement arrival on scene.

If requested to do so by Public Safety or law enforcement, search your immediate work area. If you locate a suspicious article, do not touch it!!! Leave the area immediately and notify Public Safety or law enforcement.

Be aware and wary of out-of-place containers or receptacles. If a suspicious article is found, supervisory personnel and Public Safety or law enforcement will determine if the building should be evacuated and if standard evacuation procedures should be followed.

Public access areas are the most vulnerable because of ease of access, i.e., restrooms, lobby areas, etc.

Never handle a suspicious item, leave it alone and call Public Safety or law enforcement.

When dealing with letters, parcels or unusual packages, the following factors may indicate a bomb or hazardous device. You should be suspicious of:

  • Protruding wires or tinfoil
  • Excessive security material such as tape, string, etc.
  • Rigid, lopsided or uneven envelopes
  • Markings such as "confidential," "personal," etc.
  • Excessive postage or weight
  • Oily stains or discoloration
  • Foreign mail, air mail and special deliveries
  • Hand written or poorly typed addresses or no return addresses
  • Incorrect title or a title with no name
  • Misspellings of common words
  • Visual distractions
  • Vapors or odors