Protect yourself: What to do in the case of a bomb threat
Abandoned packages and suspicious vehicles are only two of the warnings signs that might signal a bomb is present. Staying aware of your surroundings and remaining alert can save your life, and someone else’s.
The panic that ensues when a bomb threat is made is understandably chaotic, but below you’ll find steps to dealing with such threats in a safe manner.
Bombs can come in all shapes and sizes so it’s important to be on the lookout for anything that seems suspicious or out of the ordinary. Los Angeles’ iWATCH department has created a helpline for individuals to call in order to report suspicious activity at 1-877-A-THREAT. Activities that should be reported include:
- People drawing or measuring important buildings
- Strangers asking questions about security or building security procedures
- Cars or trucks left in no parking zones in front of important buildings
- Chemical smells or fumes that seem out of the ordinary
- The purchasing of supplies or equipment that can be used to make bombs or weapons
- The purchasing of uniforms without proper credentials
The number one precaution to take when identifying the presence of a bomb is not to touch it. Call 911 immediately from a landline phone and turn off cellular devices. If you have access to the gas and electricity for a building, assure those entities are shut off as well. Bombs can be triggered by the slightest touch or by the smallest radio signal, so LAPD urges all within the vicinity to turn off cellular phone as they also have the potential to detonate a bomb. Do not touch any suspected items or activate light switches, thermostats or other mechanisms that might trigger the device. Stand away from windows and any other object that could cause injury in an explosion.
For more safety materials or information on reporting suspicious activity, visit iwatchla.org.