All bomb threats and suspicious packages should be treated as REAL.

Quick References: Bomb ThreatSuspicious Package Characteristics; Key IndicatorsWhat To Do; Contacts


If you receive a threat of any kind against the university or a person:

  • If you received the threat by phone, stay on the phone with the caller. Attempt to get as much information as possible from the threatening caller. Record the call if possible.
  • If the call was received on a university landline, trace the call as soon as the caller hangs up:
    • Get a new dial tone on the same line.
    • Dial *57 to initiate a call trace.
  • DIAL 911 IMMEDIATELY. If you are still on the phone with the threatening caller, have someone around you DIAL 911.
  • Auburn Police will immediately respond to your 911 call. The police officers will assess the threat and advise the Auburn University Department of Campus Safety & Security if it is necessary to evacuate a building or any part of campus.
    • Many factors must be considered when evaluating response to a bomb threat, including the nature and credibility of the threat; activities occurring in the building or area at the time; potential hazards inside and outside the building; and other factors. Emergency responders should make decisions about the best course of action based on the totality of the circumstances.
  • If you are told to evacuate, exit quickly and quietly. 
  • Be observant for any out-of-place or suspicious items located near the evacuation routes or assembly areas, and notify emergency responders if you see any such items. Make sure that someone who can respond is aware of the concern. Emergency responders should check the assembly areas prior to (if possible) or soon after their arrival on the scene for secondary devices.
  • Remain in the assembly area until you are advised that it is safe to return to normal operations, either by emergency personnel or university administrators.

Bomb Threat Checklist

  • Keep the caller on the line as long as possible.
  • Listen carefully to the caller’s voice and words.
  • Record the time and caller ID number if shown.
  • Ask the caller the following questions and write down the answers as soon as possible:
    • Where is the bomb?
    • When will it explode?
    • What does the bomb look like?
    • What kind of bomb is it?
    • What will cause it to explode?
    • Did you place the bomb?
    • Why?
    • What is your name?
    • Are you an employee/student?
    • Where are you calling from?
  • Write down any information such as: 
    • Background noises
    • Gender of the caller
    • Voice pitches and patterns
    • Exact time of call
    • Exact words of caller
    • Date
    • Phone number at which call was received
    • Any other information that stands out or seems unusual to you
  • Call 911 and report the event immediately.
  • ALL bomb threats and suspicious packages must be treated as a serious matter.
  • If the bomb or suspicious package is discovered, do not handle the package. Get away.
  • Do not use cell phones, radios, or other wireless devices in the building or area.
  • Public safety personnel will advise regarding evacuation.
  • If evacuation is ordered, look around as you exit for anything suspicious or out of place.
  • Upon exiting the building, assemble outside and remain until instructed it is safe to return.
  • Follow all instructions from public safety personnel.
  • If you noticed anything suspicious while evacuating, tell public safety personnel.
  • Do not re-enter the building unless told to do so by public safety personnel or building manager.



Suspicious packages are any items capable of concealing or containing harmful substances that have been left unattended and/or visibly show indicators of posing a potential threat.

Characteristics of Suspicious Packages or Mail
  • Excessive postage
  • Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
  • Misspellings of common words
  • Strange return address or no return address
  • Incorrect titles or title without a name
  • Not addressed to a specific person
  • Marked with restrictions, such as "Personal," "Confidential," or "Do not x-ray"
  • Marked with any threatening language
  • Postmarked from a city or state that does not match the return address.


Key Indicators
  • Oily stains
  • Discolorations
  • Odor
  • Excessive packaging material
  • Excessive weight
  • Ticking sound and/or protruding wires or aluminum foil

‚ÄčAdditionally, items such as a briefcase, gym bag, suitcase, etc. may be deemed suspicious solely because it is discovered unattended in a public place or near a sensitive facility.


What to Do with a Suspicious Package, Letter or Container
  • Do not panic. It is important for all of your actions to be careful & deliberate.
  • If the item is leaking or clearly contains an unknown substance, do not touch, move or attempt to clean up the unknown material.  Wash hands with soap and water as soon as possible.
  • Isolate the area and evacuate others from the immediate vicinity.
  • DIAL 911 to report the situation.
  • Do not use radios or cell phones.
  • Make a list of names and contact information for all individuals who may have come into contact with the item and unknown substance.  Provide this information to emergency responders.
  • Carefully follow the instructions provided by emergency responders and university administrators.



AU Campus Safety & Security Phone: 334-844-8888
On-Call Phone (24/7): 334-750-9795
Auburn Police Division Phone: 334-501-3100, opt 1
Auburn Police Division
Crime Stoppers Tip Line
(Call or Text)
Phone: 334-246-1391