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New York City Releases Daunting PSA On How To Cope With Nuclear Attack

Tom Wood

Published 
| Last updated 

New York City Releases Daunting PSA On How To Cope With Nuclear Attack

Featured Image Credit: New York City Emergency Management/Alamy

The government of New York City has released a chilling – and more than a little strange – public service announcement informing citizens what they should do in the event of a nuclear attack.

It’s definitely something that is at the back of everyone’s mind at the minute, given the delicately poised state of global politics, including the sabre-rattling taking place over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

That said, this PSA from the New York City Emergency Management Department telling people what they should do if they hear the sirens going off won’t do much to assuage the public’s fear of attack.

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You can watch it here:

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Obviously, it’ll stand everyone in good stead to be prepared for every eventuality, and for that reason – as well as responding to the concerns they’ve heard – the government have seen fit to release some official advice.

The Emergency Management Department said: “While the likelihood of a nuclear weapon incident occurring in/near New York City is very low, it is important New Yorkers know the steps to stay safe.”

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In the announcement, a friendly woman explains: “So there’s been a nuclear attack. Don’t ask me how or why, just know that the big one has hit.

“OK – so what do we do?”

She then goes on to outline the three steps that New Yorkers should take to give themselves the best chance.

Firstly, you need to ‘get inside’ a building – any building – then close all the windows and doors. Cars don't count, it needs to be a building.

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Secondly, you need to ‘stay inside’. That seems pretty self-explanatory.

The PSA warns New Yorkers what to do in a nuclear attack. Credit: New York City Emergency Management
The PSA warns New Yorkers what to do in a nuclear attack. Credit: New York City Emergency Management

The announcer then explains that you should get to a basement if you can, and – if you were caught outside at the time of the blast – you need to get your clothes off and get clean as quickly as you can.

Take off all of your outer clothes and put them into bags to minimise the risk from radioactive dust or ash. Have a shower, and get into the middle of the house.

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Next, you should ‘stay tuned’. That means turning on the radio or TV or following on social media if you can. There, you’ll find out what is going on as best as possible.

Also, more specifically, New Yorkers can make use of the Notify NYC system that will give official alerts and updates, or ring 311.

According to the Emergency Management Department, there’s no specific reason for the PSA, but Commissioner Zach Iscol said: “As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it is important that New Yorkers know we are preparing for any imminent threats and are providing them with the resources they need to stay safe and informed.”

Emergency Management First Deputy Commissioner Christina Farrell said that while a nuclear attack is ‘low probability’, it would be ‘high impact’.

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Here's the three steps they want New Yorkers to follow. Credit: New York Emergency Management
Here's the three steps they want New Yorkers to follow. Credit: New York Emergency Management

“We know that this material is very serious and can be scary, frankly, but it is very important,” she said. “There is no specific threat at this time.”

Farrell added that the PSA was a response to concerns voiced when the department canvassed citizens on their fears.

Farrell continued: “Understandably, people report that this is an event that they feel the least prepared for.

“I don’t know if there’s ever a great time to put out a nuclear preparedness PSA, but it is very important, and we want New Yorkers to be prepared – so no time like the present.

“We know New Yorkers are resilient. New Yorkers like to get the information straightforward. We know there is so much going on in this city.

“We always strive to focus on the preparedness side here, and we really didn’t want to put this off.”

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Topics: News, US News, New York

Tom Wood
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