If your workplace has yet to experience a bomb threat, count your lucky stars. In recent years, bomb threats in the workplace have become increasingly more common. While bomb threats are often times just a hoax, they should never be taken lightly and should always be investigated to their full potential regardless of if you think it will really happen or not. If there’s a threat, there’s a chance that it’s legitimate and that’s why it is important to have a plan in place in case of a bomb threat in your workplace.
Recent Bomb Threats in the U.S.
Over two dozen Jewish Community Centers have been receiving bomb threats since March 1st. This is actually the second wave of threats, as this has been going on for a couple weeks now. Thankfully, all of the threats have been false. Regardless, it is still quite unsettling that someone or perhaps a group of people are trying to induce such fear in a specific organization all across the United States. The bomb threats have occurred in at least 18 states and Jewish Community Centers remain on high security and are taking the proper precautions to stay safe.
In January there was a bomb threat which closed off Ocean Drive in Miami, Florida. An Uber driver live streamed a video on Facebook showed Enrique Antonio Gamez waving cash stolen from Navy Federal Credit Union and claiming in the video that he had a bomb on him as well. Out of precaution, Miami Beach Police closed down parts of Ocean Drive stretching between Eighth and 10th streets through the duration of the investigation. Gamez was arrested and is facing federal charges.
Back in May 2016 there was a wave of bomb threats at schools all across the nation, which caused many schools to lockdown or evacuate students. The threats were made by an automated call, which fired off dozens of threats to different schools in various states within minutes. The threats turned out to have no validity to them. But, when it comes to the safety of the faculty and students, the schools were adamant about making sure that they closely followed all of the proper bomb threat guidelines in order to protect their students.
Types of Threats
There are two main types of threats that are received in the workplace. These are specific and nonspecific threats.
Specific threats are the least likely to occur, but are the most credible. This is when specific details regarding the bomb are given. This includes location, time, motive, etc. If your workplace receives a specific bomb threat, then it needs to be taken seriously and quickly acted upon as the likelihood of it being a real threat increases dramatically.
Nonspecific threats provide no information other than that a bomb has been placed. These happen more frequently than specific threats, often by disgruntled former employees or just someone with a chip on their shoulder. Still, these threats need to be taken as seriously as specific threats.
If you receive any kind of bomb threat, you need to call 911 immediately. You are not Nancy Drew. Waiting around because you want to try to crack the case yourself will not be helpful and could cost you and those around you their lives.
Prepare for a Bomb Threat
Unfortunately, bomb threats happen and even though not every bomb threat will be legitimate, there is still always a chance that it could be. Either way, proper precautions must be taken to avoid chaos.
The best thing you can possibly do is make sure that your employees are fully aware of how to handle a bomb threat before one happens. When everyone knows what to do the whole process will run a lot smoother.
Click here to download the Preparis’ Responding to Bomb Threats at Your Building Checklist.
For more information on bomb threats, please join us for our webinar on Wednesday, March 29th at 2pm EST: Bomb Threats, Active shooters, and other Workplace Violence: Mitigating the Risk and How to Respond. Click here to register.