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Bomb Threat

It has been clearly proven that the vast majority of these calls are indeed false alarms, meant only to disturb or disrupt the normal work of a person or company. However, at no time should any call be regarded as just another false alarm. The following guide will be useful. When a call is received, there are several things to do.

Standard Operating Procedure

  • Keep the caller on the line as long as possible. Ask the caller to repeat the message.
  • Obtain as much information from the caller as possible:
    • Location of the bomb,
    • Time of detonation,
    • Outside appearance or description of the bomb,
    • Reason for planting the bomb.
  • Listen for background noises that might help in determining where the call was made.
  • At the conclusion of the call, do not hang up. It is essential that you keep this line open so that the police can trace the call.
  • Go to another phone and immediately report the call to 911 and the Property Management Office at (512) 306-5000, giving as much of the following information as possible:
    • Your name,
    • Your location and phone number,
    • Name of the initial recipient of the threat,
    • Name of anyone listening in to the threat,
    • Name of any employee threatened by the caller,
    • Normal work location of any threatened employee,
    • TIME the bomb is supposed to explode,
    • Exact LOCATION where the bomb is supposed to be,
    • REASON given for the bomb,
    • Time.
  • Notify your supervisor about the bomb threat call.
  • Quickly and thoroughly search your company area for “suspicious, unusual or foreign items” (“Suspected Bombs”) and report any findings. Do not touch, move, jar, disturb or cover any “suspicious items” that are found. Report any findings to the Property Management Office.
  • If evacuation is necessary, the Westlake Fire Department or the Property Management Office will notify you as to the evacuation plan to use.
  • IMPORTANT - If you determine that your employees and visitors are in imminent danger and you cannot reach the Westlake Fire Department and the Property Management Office by telephone in a reasonable length of time, you may determine it prudent to exercise your independent judgment and move or evacuate your personnel without being given specific route to follow!
  • IMPORTANT - Identify and give priority to the movement or evacuation of nervous, emotional, ill and/or handicapped personnel. If you evacuate, establish and announce a “rendezvous point” or employee meeting place for safety and control, “roll call”, communication and re-entry information.

When evacuation is complete, assemble and account for all your personnel:

  • Total number of employees moved or evacuated:
  • Total number of visitors moved or evacuated:
  • Total number of personnel missing:
  • Names of missing persons:

For future reference by the Property Management Office, write a brief report covering your actions in response to the emergency, including any special problems or incidents that you encountered, and submit it as soon as possible to the Property Management office.

Suspected Bomb-Safety Precautions

The safety precautions listed below are designated to acquaint you with the dangers inherent in the search, discovery and handling of suspected objects.

While some of the following safety precautions may seem elementary, do not dismiss them as unimportant, nor take them for granted. Adequate knowledge of these precautionary provisions may save your life, the lives of your fellow employees and Tenants and the lives of the individual Tenants and visitors who daily frequent the building.

  • Do not use radio equipment to transmit messages.
  • Do not change the lighting conditions.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not accept the contents of any container as bona-fide simply because it was delivered in a routine manner.
  • Do not accept container markings and/or appearances as sole evidence of their content, identification and legitimacy.
  • Do not touch a suspected bomb
  • Do not carry a suspected bomb.
  • Do not assume that a suspected bomb is of a specific (high explosive or incendiary) type.
  • Do not open a suspicious container or object.
  • Do not cut a string, cord or wire on a suspicious container or object.
  • Do not cut or remove the wrapper on a suspicious container.
  • Do not unscrew the cover of a suspicious container or object.
  • Do not move the latch or hook on the cover of a suspicious container or object.
  • Do not raise or remove the cover of a suspicious container.
  • Do not change the position of a suspicious container or bottle.
  • Do not place a suspicious container or object into water.

Identifying and Handling Suspicious Mail/Packages

A suspicious letter or parcel might have some of the following indicators:

  • Postmark or name of sender is unusual, unknown, or no further address is given.
  • Postage – Excessive or inadequate.
  • Balance – The letter is lopsided or unusually thick.
  • Weight – The letter or package seems heavy for its size.
  • Contents – Stiffness or springiness of contents; protruding wires or components, feels like it contains powdery substance.
  • Smell – Particularly almond or other suspicious odors.
  • Writing – Handwriting of sender is not familiar or indicates a foreign style not normally received by recipient. Common words or names are misspelled.

Suggestions for Handling Suspicious Letter/Purchases

  • Do not excessively handle or open.
  • Immediately segregate it in an unused room or space.
  • Attempt to verify the sender and/or the legitimacy of the package.
  • If the letter or parcel remains suspect, call the police.

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