University of Northern Iowa

Department of Public Safety

Contacting the Police - Bomb Threat

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IN CASE OF A BOMB THREAT: CALL 273-4000

All bomb or other threats affecting university facilities shall be reported to the Public Safety office immediately. Public Safety shall act in a manner aimed at minimizing the potential for injuries, damage to property and disruption of university operations.

UNI Bomb Threat Policy

Possible characteristics of suspicious packages or letters:

  • excessive postage
  • handwritten or poorly typed addresses
  • incorrect titles
  • title, but no name
  • misspellings of common words
  • oily stains, discolorations or odor
  • no return address
  • excessive weight
  • lopsided or uneven envelope
  • protruding wires or aluminum foil
  • excessive security material such as masking tape, string, etc.
  • visual distractions
  • ticking sound
  • marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "personal" or "confidential"
  • shows a city or state in the postmark that does not match the return address

If the letter or package meets the above criteria:

  1. Do NOT shake or empty the contents.
  2. Place the envelope or package in a plastic bag or some other type of container to prevent leakage of contents.
  3. If you do not have any container, then cover the envelope or package with anything (e.g. clothing, paper, trash can, etc.) and do NOT remove this cover.
  4. Then leave the room and close the door, or section off the area to prevent others from entering.
  5. Wash your hands with soap and water to prevent spreading any powder.
  6. What to do next:
    If at home, report the incident to the local police.
    If at UNI, report the incident to UNI Department of Public Safety (273-4000).
  7. List all people who were in the room or area when this suspicious letter or package was recognized. Give this list to both the local public health authorities and law enforcement officials for follow-up.

Additional Resources

United States Postal Service Resources

CDC Health Advisory: How to Handle Anthrax and other Biological Agent Threats

CDC Anthrax Frequently Asked Questions

National Public Radio's Anthrax Primer

US Dept of Homeland Security