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Cabrini students on campus, next to an Emergency call box

Bomb Threat Emergencies

While not common, bomb threats and suspicious packages can happen at Cabrini.

In order to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff, and to minimize the disruptions caused by such threats (usually the goal of those making the threats), the following procedures should be followed.

If you observe a suspicious object, package or potential bomb on campus, DO NOT handle the object!

Clear the area and immediately call the Department of Public Safety at 610.902.8111 (or 8111 for campus phones).

Turn off all portable/hand-held radios and cell phones. Do not turn them on again until the situation has been cleared by emergency personnel.

Phone Bomb Threats 
If you receive a bomb threat on the phone, it is imperative that you remain calm. 
Any person receiving a phone call bomb threat should ask the caller:

  • When is the bomb going to explode?
  • Where is it right now?
  • What does it look like?
  • What kind of bomb is it?
  • What will cause it to explode?
  • Did you place the bomb?
  • Why?

Keep talking to the caller as long as possible, listen carefully, and try to determine the following:

  • Time of call
  • Age and sex of caller
  • Speech pattern, accent, possible nationality, etc.
  • Emotional state of caller
  • Background noise

The sample Bomb Threat Report Form in the Emergency-Operations Plan - PDF should be used when dealing with such a call.

Report the incident immediately to the Department of Public Safety at 610.902.8111 or the police by dialing 911 (dial 9 first from campus phones). If at all possible, have another person call, while you maintain a conversation with the caller.

The Radnor Police, along with the Radnor Fire Department, will handle all such threats. Evacuations will be ordered if police or fire officials determine they are necessary.

Written Bomb Threats 
If you receive a bomb threat via a letter or note, dial 610.902.8111 (or 8111 for campus phones) or 911 (dial 9 first from campus phones) immediately, and:

  • Make note of all persons that you know handled the note.
  • Avoid excessive handling of the note. The police will want to check for fingerprints.
  • Follow all instructions from responding emergency personnel.
  • Evacuate if ordered to do so.

Radnor Police can, if needed, have the nearest police bomb disposal team respond.

Students, faculty, and staff should report any suspicious object in their area to the Department of Public Safety at 610.902.8111 (or 8111 for campus phones) or dial 911 (dial 9 first from campus phones) .

Do not touch the object! Do not open drawers or cabinets. Do not turn lights on or off. Police and fire officials will conduct a detailed bomb search.

In the event that an evacuation is ordered, walk quickly to the nearest marked exit and alert others to do the same. Evacuate to an open area where the possibility of a secondary device would be minimal.

Suspicious Mail or Packages 
Not all dangerous packages or envelopes look suspicious, and not all suspicious looking packages are dangerous. Always use your best judgment. If you are concerned for any reason, do not handle the package.

Contact the Department of Public Safety at 610.902.8111 (or 8111 for campus phones) or dial 911 (dial 9 first from campus phones) for assistance. Never open or excessively handle any letter or package that you believe is meant to cause harm.

If you come across any letter or package that meets many of the criteria noted below, contact the Department of Public Safety at 610.902.8111 (or 8111 for campus phones) or dial 911 (dial 9 first from campus phones).

Characteristics of Suspicious Packages/Letter:

  • No return address
  • Odd smell or sounds coming from the package
  • Oily stains, leaking, or seepage from the package
  • Wires protruding from the package
  • Written directions indicating only a specific person is to open the package
  • Packages that are addressed to a title only, without a name, or incorrect titles
  • Restrictive markings, like “personal,” “private,” or “to be opened only by...”
  • Excessive postage, no postage or non-canceled postage
  • Excessive use of tape or unprofessionally wrapped packages
  • A rigid or bulky envelope
  • Misspelled words, poor handwriting, printing or typing
  • Postmark showing a very different location than return address

If you determine that the package or letter is suspicious:

  • Gently set the package down and secure the area by closing doors.
  • Call the Department of Public Safety at 610.902.8111 (or 8111 for campus phones) or the police by dialing 911 (dial 9 first from campus phones).
  • Do not attempt to further handle the package until it has been deemed safe by responding personnel. This will keep fingerprints to a minimum and will assist the police in identifying potential offenders.
  • Do not attempt to destroy the package on your own.
  • Determine who else in the office or on the campus may have legitimately handled the package and be ready to communicate this information to the police.
  • Evacuate the area if ordered to do so by the authorities.

Dealing with an Opened, Threatening Package, or Envelope

If a threat is not identified or considered until after the package is open, it is most important to remain calm.

By taking the following actions, you will limit the exposure of others to potential danger and will allow emergency personnel to treat you quicker, if necessary:

  • Move away from the package, but do not leave the area that you are in, unless the package contains a type of bomb or other explosive device.
  • Close any doors in the immediate area, and isolate yourself and anyone else that was in the immediate vicinity of the package. This may mean a temporary quarantine type of arrangement for you and anyone else in the immediate room.
  • Do not allow any entry except by emergency response personnel.
  • Call the Department of Public Safety at 610.902.8111 (or 8111 for campus phones) or the police by dialing 911 (dial 9 first from campus phones).
  • Follow all instructions from emergency personnel.
  • Contact the Facilities Department and request that any air handling units not controlled locally be shut down.
  • Shut off any air conditioners or fans.
  • Make a list of any other persons who may have come in contact with the package, including those that may have handled it but not opened it. Be prepared to share this information with emergency responders.

Important: The goal of responding emergency personnel is to make sure you and any others remaining are taken care of.

Stay calm and give the responders the time to formulate a proper response.

Be prepared to communicate over the phone with them for a time. They will get to you as soon as possible and they will arrange for medical treatment, decontamination, and any other services that you may require.

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