Terrorism/Bomb Threat

How to Prepare

Across the country, colleges and universities are being asked to change their mindset of how they initially react to a bomb threat. This page offers guidance on how to prepare and respond to a bomb threat.

What to do
  • Be aware of your surroundings and alert to anything out of the norm.
  • If you SEE something, SAY something!
  • Report suspicious activity to your local law enforcement (713-348-6000 or 911) and describe who or what you saw, when you saw it, where it occurred, and why it's suspicious.
If you find a suspicious item
  • Do not touch, tamper with, or move the item
  • Immediately report the item to law enforcement
If you receive a phone threat
  • Do not hang up
  • Copy the number and or letters on the phone's display, if possible
  • Write down the exact wording of the threat Record the call, if possible
  • Keep the caller on the line for as long as possible and use the Bomb Threat Checklist to gather as much information as you can
If you receive a verbal threat
  • If the perpetrator leaves note the direction they went
  • Write down/record the threat exactly as it was communicated
  • Be ready to provide a detailed physical description of the perpetrator to authorities (name if known, race, gender, body type, clothing, hair, eye color, distinguishing features, voice characteristics, etc.)
If you receive a written threat
  • Handle the document as little as possible
  • Rewrite the threat exactly as is on another sheet of paper and note the following:
    • Date/time/location document was found
    • Situations/conditions surrounding the discovery
    • Full names of any persons who saw the threat
  • Secure the original document; do not alter it in any way
    • If small/removable, place in a bag or envelope
    • If large/stationary, secure the location
  • If you receive an email threat:
    • Leave the message open on the computer/device
    • Notify Rice IT, Crisis Management (713-348-6088), and/or RUPD (713-348-6000)
    • Print, photograph, or copy the message and subject line; note the date and time of receipt
Additional Department of Homeland Security resources

DHS See Something, Say Something

DHS Signs of Suspicious Activity

DHS Bomb Threat Checklist

How to recover
  • Follow all law enforcement instructions. Evacuate in the direction they come from unless otherwise instructed.
  • Consider seeking professional counseling to cope with the long-term effects of trauma. Rice University's Wellbeing & Counseling Center provides well-being and mental health counseling for all Rice students. Counseling services for faculty/staff are available through Human Resources' Employee Assistance Program.