Bomb Threats

All bomb threats should be treated seriously. Always assume a bomb threat is real. This type of threat may require you to evacuate a building, your offsite location, or the main campus. It can also require you to shelter in place.

Your response must be quick and organized to minimize the risk to students, employees, and visitors. You must be familiar with the information listed below and provided in the associated links so that we all will be better prepared in the event of a bomb threat.


  • Sign up for Campus Shield.
  • Keep a copy of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security CISA Bomb Threat Checklist by each telephone in your department.
  • Do your recon: Scout out at least two ways out of all buildings.
  • Be familiar with evacuation points for the main campus and all offsite locations. The MSM Evacuation Plan is accessible on the “Resources” page of the free CampusShield mobile safety application.
  • Ensure that your students and employees know these terms:


  1. Remain calm and do not hang up the phone. Keep the caller on the line and try to obtain as much information as possible without angering the caller.
  2. Take out and use the CISA Bomb Threat Checklist if you have one available.
  3. Write down what is displayed on your caller ID if possible.
  4. Try to get someone’s attention and have them call 9-1-1 and Public Safety at 404-752-1794 or 404-752-1795.
  5. If you do not have the checklist, calmly ask the caller:
    • When is the bomb going to detonate?
    • Where is it?
    • What does it look like?
    • What will cause it to detonate?
    • Did you place the bomb?
    • Why did you place the bomb?
    • Who is your target?
    • What is your name?
    • Where are you calling from?
  6. Record the date, time, caller’s name, location, caller’s gender, voice accent, voice quality, their emotional state, and any background noise you hear.
  7. Immediately ensure that both 9-1-1 and Public Safety were called and that your name/location were provided.
  8. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible to authorities.
  9. Remember:
    • If the threat was left on voice mail, do not erase it.
    • Follow instructions from CampusShield, MSM Police officers, or other responding emergency personnel.


  1. Call 9-1-1 immediately and report the situation, then call Public Safety at 404-752-1794 or 404-752-1795.
  2. Do not delete, reply to, or forward the email.
  3. Follow all police instructions.
  4. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible to authorities.


  1. Call 9-1-1 and Public Safety immediately and report the situation.
  2. Do not touch or throw away the threat.
  3. Follow police instructions.
  4. Be prepared to provide as much information as possible to authorities.
  5. If there is an additional emergency other than the bomb threat, call 9-1-1 immediately.
  6. Follow the instructions given through CampusShield, MSM Police officers, or other responding emergency personnel.


  1. Calmly stop your work.
  2. Start to secure your materials.
    • Close containers in fume hoods and close the sash.
    • Close any other open chemical containers.
  3. Closely follow the instructions given through CampusShield, by MSM Police officers, or other responding emergency personnel.


  1. Calmly stop class and inform your class of the situation.
  2. Prepare your class for an evacuation.
  3. Unless told to evacuate and if no threats are present, instruct your class to remain in the room.
  4. Follow the instructions sent via CampusShield, MSM Police officers, or other responding emergency personnel.
  5. You may be instructed to evacuate the building, shelter in place, or lockdown.


Together we can help keep our communities safe—if you see something that is suspicious, out of place, or doesn't look right, say something. (Find out more about the "If You See Something, Say Something®" campaign.) A suspicious item is any item (e.g., bag, package, vehicle, etc.) that is reasonably believed to contain explosives, an improvised explosive device (IED), or other hazardous material that requires a bomb technician and/or specialized equipment to further evaluate it. Examples that could indicate a bomb include unexplainable wires or electronics, other visible bomb-like components, and unusual sounds, vapors, mists, or odors. Generally speaking, anything that is Hidden, Obviously suspicious, and not Typical (HOT) should be deemed suspicious. In addition, potential indicators for a bomb are threats, placement, and proximity of the item to people and valuable assets.

For more information on recognizing suspicious items, reference the Unattended vs. Suspicious Postcard and Poster, and view the video "What to Do: Suspicious or Unattended Item."

NOTE: Not all items are suspicious. An unattended item is an item (e.g., bag, package, vehicle, etc.) of unknown origin and content where there are no obvious signs of being suspicious (see above). Facility search, lock-down, or evacuation is not necessary unless the item is determined to be suspicious.

You may encounter a suspicious item unexpectedly or while conducting a search as part of your facility's or employer’s Bomb Threat Response Plan. If it appears to be a suspicious item, follow these procedures:

  • Remain calm.
  • Do NOT touch, tamper with, or move the package, bag, or item.
  • 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.
    • Explain why it appears suspicious.
  • Follow instructions. Facility supervisors and/or law enforcement will assess the situation and provide guidance regarding shelter-in-place or evacuation.
  • If no guidance is provided and you feel you are in immediate danger, calmly evacuate the area. Distance and protective cover are the best ways to reduce injury from a bomb.
  • Be aware. There could be other threats or suspicious items.

Every situation 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 if a real risk is posed and how to respond. Refer to the DHS-DOJ Bomb Threat Guidance for more information.


To evacuate means to move to a place of safety, away from a dangerous building or area. For example: During a fire alarm, you would evacuate to a designated evacuation place (initial meeting point) and await further instructions. MSM has an evacuation plan that you should be familiar with. You can access our evacuation plan from the “Resources” tab of the free CampusShield mobile safety application.


  1. If time and conditions permit, secure your workplace and take important personal items with you (keys, purse/wallet, medication, and/or eyeglasses). You may be instructed to leave the campus.
  2. Calmly and quickly proceed to the nearest exit. Walk, do not run.
  3. If you are the last one out of a room, close the door behind you.
  4. Do not use the elevator.
  5. Keep noise low so you can hear emergency instructions.
  6. Use handrails in stairwells, stay to the right of the stairwell and allow MSM Police officer and other responding emergency personnel to enter.
  7. Wait at the evacuation (initial meeting point) for further instruction.
  8. Immediately report anyone that you believe may be missing to Public Safety.
  9. Never reenter a building until it is declared safe, or you receive the All Clear announcement.


  1. Get inside a room and close the door.
  2. If there is a smoke or fire condition, or in a hazmat incident, put clothing in the space between the bottom of the door and the floor.
  3. Call 911 and Public Safety at 404-752-1794 or 404-752-1795. Tell the dispatcher your location and condition. You can also use CampusShield to contact Public Safety.
  4. If there is a window in the room, signal for help with a brightly colored object or hang a sheet outside.


To assist persons with impaired vision:

  • Announce the type of emergency
  • Offer your arm for guidance.
  • Tell the person where you are going
  • Once safe, ask if further assistance is needed.
  • Let 911 and Public Safety know where these individuals are.

To alert persons with impaired hearing:

(Persons with impaired hearing may not perceive emergency alarms, so an alternative way to warn them is required.)

  • Turn lights on/off to gain the person’s attention, or
  • Indicate through gestures what is happening and what to do.
  • Write a note with evacuation directions, such as: “Fire. Go out rear door to the right and down, NOW!”
  • Let 911 and Public Safety know where these individuals are.

To evacuate persons using crutches, canes, or walkers:

  • Evacuate these individuals the same as you would an injured person.
  • Assist and accompany to evacuation point if possible.
  • Use a sturdy chair (or one with wheels) to move the person.
  • Help carry the individual to safety.
  • Let 911 and Public Safety know where these individuals are.

Do not put yourself or others in danger. If the situation does not allow you to safely assist with the evacuation of individuals with special needs, get them to a stairwell or other safe location. Immediately notify 911 and Public Safety of the individuals’ situations and location.


  • Keep roadways and campus entrances clear for emergency vehicles.
  • Use an alternate exit if your primary exit is obstructed.
  • If smoke is present, stay low to the floor.
  • If there is a fire, check doors for heat before opening. Do not open a door if it feels hot.
  • Always use common sense.


This term, frequently used in emergency management, means you should stay inside the building you are already in or closest to, or enter the nearest building. This is typically used for severe weather events, such as a tornado. Preferably, when a Shelter in Place order is given, choose a small interior room with no windows which is lockable. Do not lock the doors behind you unless you are doing so in an Active Shooter event. Remember, others may be right behind you seeking shelter.


  • Calmly stop class, work, or close your business.
  • Immediately seek shelter inside the closest sturdy building and interior room with few or no windows. Chose a room that can be locked if necessary. Avoid large classrooms and the Auditorium.
  • Close all windows, exterior doors, and any other openings to the outside.
  • Stay away from windows, glass, and unsecured objects that may fall.
  • If you are with other people, ask them to stay in the room with you. When authorities provide directions to shelter in place, they want everyone to take those steps right away, where they are, and not walk outdoors.
  • If you are not in imminent risk, contact your family to let them know your situation.
  • Await further instruction from CampusShield, MSM Police officers, or responding emergency personnel.
  • Do not leave until an All Clear announcement is received.


  • If sheltering in place due to weather conditions, resist the temptation to go outside and check the weather conditions yourself.
  • Do not use elevators.
  • Seek shelter in interior rooms with no windows.
  • Select a room that is lockable if necessary.
  • Do your recon: Search and find a place suitable BEFORE the emergency.
  • Wait in the safest location possible until otherwise directed through CampusShield, by MSM Police officers, or other emergency responders.
  • If an evacuation is ordered, leave your shelter and evacuate immediately. Follow the direction of MSM Police officers or other responding emergency responders.
  • Always use common sense and your best judgement. There are no perfect rules or procedures.


A lockdown is a procedure used when there is an immediate threat to life safety. In the event of a lockdown, all students, employees, and visitors would be instructed to secure themselves inside buildings and within rooms that can be locked, with few or no windows. You should not leave your lockdown location until you get an All Clear notification from authorities. This allows MSM Police officers and other responding emergency personnel to secure everyone in place and address the immediate threat. This may include letting drivers leave or enter the main campus.


  1. Calmly but quickly close and lock all doors into your room.
  2. Block entry into your room, if possible.
  3. Draw the blinds where possible.
  4. Turn off the lights.
  5. Hide in an area that is out of view and makes your location look as though it is empty.
  6. Silence all electronic devices.
  7. Remain as quiet as possible and attract as little attention to your area as possible.
  8. Wait for further instruction from CampusShield, MSM Police officers, or other responding emergency personnel.
  9. Stay locked down in your hiding place until you receive an All Clear notice.
  10. Use CampusShield to send additional information to MSM Police as necessary.


  1. Quickly seek cover in the closest building.
  2. If you can do so safely, get as far away from the threat. Leave campus if it is safe to do so.
  3. Once inside a building, find an interior room with few or no windows and lock or barricade the doors. Follow the instructions sent via Campus Shield, MSM Police officers or other responding emergency personnel.


All Clear means that the danger or threat is over. You can begin normal operations. You can get an All Clear message through the CampusShield mobile safety app, an MSM email message, from MSM Police Officers, or from other emergency response personnel.


  • Ensure that everyone is okay and that there is no need for emergency services.
  • Discuss a plan to make up missed work or classes.
  • Begin to restore normal operations.


After an All Clear is received and you return to normal operations, we recommend that you discuss the incident with your team and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the response. Develop a plan for how to better address similar incidents in the future and include it in your department Emergency Operations Plan. Encourage employees and students to sign up for CampusShield Call Public Safety at 404-752-1794 or 404-752-1795 with any questions or training requests.

Send your comments, recommendation for improvements, or issues encountered to the Director of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness/Chief of Police Joseph Chevalier at