Emergency Procedures for a Bomb Thread



  • We just got one of those here's-what-you-do-in-an-emergency pamphlets that big employers drop on your desk once in a while. They added a new section: Bomb Threats. So help me God, it has two subsections:

    Bomb Threats By Mail

    • once you know it's a bomb, stop touching it (I'm thinking you're already dead at this point)
    • tell everyone to leave the area
    • talk to your boss about it
    • call building security
    • don't let anyone else touch the package (yeah, I'm going to stand there and guard it)
    • if the Police instruct you to leave, you should obey (yeah, like I'm still standing there guarding the bomb)
    Bomb Threats by Telephone
    • Be calm and courteous ("Hello, I've put a bomb in your desk..."; I'm thinking I need to change my shorts)
    • Listen and do not interrupt the caller (I guess if they think we'd guard a mail bomb, that we might also be willing to listen to a bomber)
    • Complete the bomb-threat-checklist (see below) - yeah, like I'm going to fill out paperwork at a time like this
    • When the conversation is over, call your boss and security
    • If the police tell you to leave, you should obey (again, like I'm still there)
    Phone Bomb Threat ToDo List
    • ask:
      • When will it go off?
      • Where did you hide it?
      • Please describe the type of bomb
      • Why are you doing this? (make sure to write it down as they rant their manifesto)
      • Please give me your name ("The Mad Loner")
    • Write down the start and end time of the call
    • Write down the exact words the caller uses (yeah, I take dictation: "Excuse me Mr. Lunatic, but could you please repeat that as I'm writing it down?")
    • Is the bomber male or female?
    • Does the caller have an accent? If so, what kind?
    • What does their voice sound like? (gravelly, squeaky, ...)
    • Do they have a speech impediment?
    • Was there background noise? Describe it?
    • Do you recognize the voice? (yeah, I hang out with people like that)
    • What is the bomber's phone number (see how to call it up from caller-id)
    W--- T-- F---?


  • I just turned to the next page, and there's another interesting section:

    Suspicious Packages: If you find a suspicious explosive (is there another knid?):

    • do not handle the package (I'm thinking if you know it's a bomb, you've already touched it)
    • don't let anyone else touch it (again, I don't see myself guarding this thing)
    • move to a safe distance (hmm, let's see, it's 6 inches by 4 inches by 3 inches, so 1:12 or 6*4*3=72 feet should be good)
    • call security
    Save Us!


  • Re: Emergency Procedures for a Bomb Threat

    Nuts! Just noticed the typo in the title: should be "Bomb Threat" - mea culpa!



  • @snoofle said:

    Nuts! Just noticed the typo in the title: should be "Bomb Threat" - mea culpa!

     

    But ... it is a bomb thread. 



  • The telephone To-do list is nice. They missed out on a few:

    • Ask about their childhood
    • Ask them about their mother
    • Ask them how it makes them feel
    • etc etc
    • Before finalizing the call, make sure to schedule a second appointment



  • Pffffffffft. I'd just replace all of the above with "Don't cut the red wire!!!" And where is "duck and cover"?

     

    The whole thing is just absurd... 



  • Uh, what's wrong with the following:

    "Fuck off. While you're fucking off, pull the fire alarm."
     



  • Well, if you have enough time while at work to type all that (the checklist you posted) then you might be a fast enough type to type all that stuff up!



  • Actually, I have a screen scraper that's pretty good (especially considering the crappy scanner I have); it doesn't take much to cut-n-paste after that.

    A few folks have told me that they think I made it up. You can view the actual document here



  • that makes me feel better.



  • The question marks after the 5 W's is classic. Did an elementary school teacher come up with it?



  • You do realise that a few moments with GIMP can undo your annonimising?



  • I like the "ToDo List"

     

    <ring ring>

    "Hello?"

    "Hello. I'm a lunatic bomber and I've put a bomb in your building!"

    "Please hold whilst I find the appropriate form."

    <awful hold music>

    "Right, there we go. Now, let's see... when will it go off? Hello? Hello? Damn."


     



  • Meh... These should be common by now.

    Back in 1997 I was doing my Year 10 work experience at our local radio telescope. One of my challenging tasks was to put the newly updated phone lists into a folder. When I got to the end of the folder, I found their emergency procedures pages. And even back then they had a bomb threat one.

    Personally, I think there's nothing wrong with that list. Only thing I would add with the phone one is that if possible, you could silently get the attention of another staff member who could start the post call stuff (contact the boss and security, etc).



  • I work at a facility where we actually do receive bomb threats, and have staff training for new employees and on an annual basis that includes a section on bomb threats. We don't have a form to fill out, though.

    I actually wrote an application that sits minimized in the tool tray and has an icon like the one for MineSweeper. It's for the customer service and admin folks to use if they get a bomb threat. It sends a network message to every other computer in the building (except servers, of course) to let them know a threat is being received. This allows a supervisor to begin evacuating the building while another one calls the local police and fire departments. The person on the phone with the bomber simply clicks once on the tray icon and then once on a button that says "Send Bomb Threat Message".

    Fortunately the app has only been used once since I wrote it three years ago.
     



  • I fail to see the big WTF here.

    Most of the instructions seem too obvious, but you should consider that people who receive a bomb thread (or a real bomb) are in a distress situation and might forget the most simple things. For example, once you feel a wire in a think letter (identifiying most likely as a letter bomb), you might run away, but leave the office unlocked, so other people walk in and trip the bomb.

    Or people receive a bomb thread by phone and they are so stressed that afterwards, they cannot even tell whether it was an old man or a young girl. Asking the caller those questions seems unreasonable only until you realise that the caller is most likely in a stress situation too, so he is likely to make mistakes, like telling his name when you ask him. Maybe the caller is stupid enough not to suppress the caller-id, but in a busy call-center it might be to late 20 minutes later when lots of other people have called in the meantime. 

    In an emergency situation, people need clear instructions even for the most obvious things. 



  • @ammoQ said:

    Most of the instructions seem too obvious, but you should consider that people who receive a bomb thread (or a real bomb) are in a distress situation and might forget the most simple things.

    I disagree. If you're stressed enough that you can't think of a few basic questions to ask, I doubt that you're in the right mindset to sort through your folders looking for the bomb threat form to fill out.

     
    i wonder if in such a situation it would pay off to just fake complete disbelief and try to weasel details out of them while they try to convince you that there really is a bomb. I'm assuming that they want to convince you that there is a bomb, otherwise they wouldn't have called in the first place.
     



  • @RayS said:

    @ammoQ said:

    Most of the instructions seem too obvious, but you should consider that people who receive a bomb thread (or a real bomb) are in a distress situation and might forget the most simple things.

    I disagree. If you're stressed enough that you can't think of a few basic questions to ask, I doubt that you're in the right mindset to sort through your folders looking for the bomb threat form to fill out.

    I disagree. Even in distress, people might be able to remember their instructions, while they are probably not able to think reasonably. 


     
    i wonder if in such a situation it would pay off to just fake complete disbelief and try to weasel details out of them while they try to convince you that there really is a bomb. I'm assuming that they want to convince you that there is a bomb, otherwise they wouldn't have called in the first place. 

    I don't know the statistics, but I'd guess that about 99,9998% of all bomb threats by telephone are fake, except those by terrorist groups like IRA who use codewords to identify themself as the real ones.



  • @ammoQ said:

    I don't know the statistics, but I'd guess that about 99,9998% of all bomb threats by telephone are fake, except those by terrorist groups like IRA who use codewords to identify themself as the real ones.



    Probably. The high school where I used to live used to get them at least once a week (before 9/11, of course). I haven't heard any updates on whether the students quit pulling that "prank" since it's taken more seriously now.



  • Don't forget the billing information. Yo do after all want to get compensated for your time.

     



  • I used to work at a factory for defence-related equipment in north London. About once a year we got telephoned bomb threats, which meant evacuation of the building. I think Reception or Security got the calls, not us "workers".

    Almost always we got them on sunny, or at least dry, days, so it wasn't too unpleasant.

    This was in the days when the Irish were our enemy, not the Islams, although the stuff we were designing and making was to use against the Soviet Union.

     



  • Actually, it should be much simpler than that.

    [u]Bomb Threats By Mail:[/u]

      once you know it's a bomb: get under your desk.  But your head between your knees.  Kiss your ass goodbye.



  • 1.  Make sure it's really a bomb.  Hit it with a hammer a few times to see if it explodes.

     



  • @newfweiler said:

    1.  Make sure it's really a bomb.  Hit it with a hammer a few times to see if it explodes.

     

    You know, it's amazing how often that this sort of thing comes up in the news. Some idiot finds a hand grendade/land mine/etc. and decides to disarm it or see if it still works by hitting it with a hammer or something.

    Still, at least they have a good chance of going down in the annals of history with a darwin award.
     


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