Bomb Threats

Each year, several bomb threats are phoned into various University offices. Persons receiving a bomb threat should take it seriously, not ignore it, and contact the HUPD immediately at 617-495-1212. Each school or department may have its own procedures to follow in the case of a bomb threat. Please consult with the building facility manager for a copy of their bomb threat procedures.

When you receive a bomb threat please note as much information on this page as possible and as quickly as possible.

Remember to keep calm, listen carefully and if possible ask for the information listed.

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is the device right now?
  • What does the device look like?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to detonate, (e.g., radio signal, and time delay fuse)?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why was it placed?
  • What is your address?
  • What is your name?

Please note the following:

  • Exact wording of the threat
  • Estimate the sex of the caller
  • Estimate the race of the caller
  • Estimate the age of the caller
  • Exact time of call
  • Exact words of caller
  • The nature/character of the caller's voice (i.e. loud, soft, angry, fast, slow, nasal, accent)
  • The nature of any background noises (i.e. voices, animals, trains, airplanes, music, traffic)
  • The language used (i.e. foul, well spoken, taped, message read, irrational)
  • Upon receipt of a bomb threat please call the Harvard University Police Department's emergency number at 617-495-1212 and notify your supervisor or department head. Once you have notified HUPD, you should conduct a cursory search of your area to identify suspicious or unfamiliar packages or other items Do not touch these items! Advise the HUPD of their location

The HUPD will immediately dispatch officers investigate the call and take whatever police action may be deemed necessary and reasonable for the safety of the community. When deemed appropriate, the HUPD will conduct a search of the building or of specific locations in or about the building with the assistance and cooperation of the department head and/or building manager. After an evaluation/assessment of the content of the bomb threat, the decision to evacuate or close a building shall be made jointly, whenever possible, by the HUPD and the department head and/or building manager.

Every bomb threat or incident of a suspected explosive device should be considered as valid until all reasonable precautions for public safety have been taken or until the danger to life and property is terminated.