Bomb Threat

General Information- Bombs and/or Bomb Threats

Bombs can be constructed to look like almost anything and can be placed or delivered in any number of ways.  The probability of locating a bomb that looks like the stereotypical bomb is difficult at best. The only common denominator that exists among bombs is that they are designed to explode.


Bomb Threats are delivered in a variety of ways. The majority of threats are called by phone to the target.  Occasionally these calls are through a third party. A threat may also be communicated in writing, social media or by a recording.  


Immediate Actions

If a bomb threat is received by phone:

  • Remain calm. Keep the caller on the line for as long as possible. DO NOT HANG UP, even if the caller does.
  • Listen carefully. Be polite and show interest.
  • Try to keep the caller talking to learn more information.
  • If possible, write a note to a colleague to call the authorities or, as soon as the caller hangs up, immediately notify them yourself.
  • If your phone has a display, copy the number and/or letters on the window display.
  • Complete the Bomb Threat Checklist immediately. Write down as much detail as you can remember. Try to get exact words.
  • Immediately upon termination of the call, do not hang up, but from a different phone, contact Public Safety, at ext. x2555 or 610.527.1038, with information and await instructions.


If you receive a bomb threat by phone, it is imperative that you remain calm.  Any person receiving a phone call bomb threat should follow the bomb threat checklist or ask the caller:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is it right now?
  • What does it look like?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why


Keep talking to the caller as long as possible, listen carefully, and try to determine the following:

  • Time of call.
  • Estimated age and sex of the caller.
  • Speech pattern, accent, possible nationality, etc. of the caller.
  • Emotional state of the caller.
  • Background noise.


 If a bomb threat is received by handwritten note:

  • Call Public Safety at ext. 2555 or 610-527-1038;
  • Handle note as minimally as possible;
  • Make note of all persons that you know handled the note.


 If a bomb threat is received by e-mail:

  • Call Public Safety at ext. 2555 or 610-527-1038;
  • Do not delete the message.


If you observe a suspicious object, package or potential bomb on campus, DO NOT handle the object! Clear the area immediately and call Public Safety at ext. 2555 or 610-527-1038.


 Signs of a suspicious package:

  • No return address;
  • Excessive postage, no postage, non-cancelled postage;
  • Stains, leaking or seepage from package;
  • Strange odor;
  • Strange sounds;
  • Unexpected delivery.



  • Touch or move a suspicious package;
  • Use two-way radios or cellular phones; radio signals have the potential to detonate a bomb;
  • Evacuate the building until Public Safety arrives and evaluates the threat;
  • Activate the fire alarm.