The city’s Emergency Management Department is urging New Yorkers to prepare for a nuclear attack in a new public service announcement released Monday, though the department said in a statement “the likelihood of a nuclear weapon incident occurring in/near New York City is very low.”
“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 Commissioner Zach Iscol said in a release.
The PSA opens on an animated rendering of an empty city street, accompanied by sirens and eerie music. A real-life spokesperson walks out and details the city’s advice for New Yorkers in the event of a nuclear attack.
“So, there’s been a nuclear attack. Don’t ask me how or why. Just know that the big one has hit,” the spokesperson says. “OK? So, what do we do?”
The first step is to get inside a building as quickly as possible and move away from windows, the spokesperson says.
“Staying in a car is not an option,” according to the PSA.
Step two is to stay inside, shut doors and windows, and head into the basement or “as far into the middle of the building as possible.” If you were exposed to the blast outside, the spokesperson advises New Yorkers to remove their clothing and shower with soap and shampoo.
The third and final step is to “Stay Tuned” to media, alerts from the department’s Notify NYC service or other wireless emergency alerts, and to stay put until you hear otherwise from officials.
“Alright. You’ve got this,” the spokesperson says at the PSA’s close.
Asked about the PSA at a news briefing Tuesday afternoon, Mayor Eric Adams said he did not believe the video was “alarmist.”
“I’m a big believer in, ‘Better safe than sorry.’ I take my hat off to OEM,” Adams said. “This was right after the attacks in the Ukraine, and OEM took a very proactive step to say, ‘Let’s be prepared.’”
“There are no imminent threats to the city that we know about, but we always have to be prepared as New Yorkers. And I think OEM did the right thing,” he added. “We’re going to always be proactive. Not panic, but we’re going to be prepared.”