The New York City Emergency Management (NYCEM) issued a public service announcement Monday explaining how to prepare for a nuclear attack.
The creepy PSA, posted on the NYCEM website, begins with a woman appearing in a bombed-out NYC landscape offering advice on what to do in the event of a nuclear strike.
“So, there’s been a nuclear attack,” she says matter-of-factly. “Don’t ask me how or why, just know that the big one has hit.”
“Okay? So, what do we do?” she asks before listing 3 “important steps” to surviving a nuclear explosion.
1. Get inside — fast
“You, your friends, your family…get inside. And no, staying in the car is not an option,” she says. “You need to get into a building and move away from the window.”
2. Stay inside
“Shut all doors and windows. Have a basement? Head there,” she says. “If you don’t have one, get as far into the middle of the building as possible.”
“If you were outside after the blast, get clean immediately. Remove and bag all outer clothing to keep radioactive dust or ash away from your body,” she adds.
3. Stay tuned
“Follow media for more information. Don’t forget to sign up for Notify NYC for official alerts and updates,” she says. “And don’t go outside until officials says it’s safe.”
“All right? You’ve got this,” she adds cheerfully.
Given the awesome destructive power of a modern nuclear weapon, the aforementioned advice seems absurd and creepy on its face, on par with the old 1951 “Duck and Cover” PSA telling students to hide under their desks in the event of a nuclear attack during the Cold War.
Why is the NYCEM issuing such a PSA now?
As the Ukraine conflict has been unfolding since February, increasingly alarming rhetoric from both Russia and the United States suggest a nuclear conflict between the two powers could be likely.
U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) warned in April that the U.S. must be prepared for a full-scale nuclear war with Russia or China, noting the Ukraine conflict is escalating “very rapidly.”
“The spectrum of conflict today is neither linear nor predictable. We must account for the possibility of conflict leading to conditions which could very rapidly drive an adversary to consider nuclear use as their least bad option,” said STRATCOM Commander Charles Richard.
“There is a real possibility that a regional crisis with Russia or China could escalate quickly to a conflict involving nuclear weapons if they perceived a conventional loss would threaten the regime or state,” he wrote.
Likewise, Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly warned that NATO forces supplying Ukraine with arms and aid could force the former Soviet nation to consider nuclear deterrence options.
“If someone intends to interfere in what is going on from the outside they must know that constitutes an unacceptable strategic threat to Russia,” Putin said in April. “They must know that our response to counterstrikes will be lightning fast. Fast.”
“We have all the weapons we need for this. No one else can brag about these weapons, and we won’t brag about them — but we will use them,” he added.
Russian state media has also echoed Putin’s position, warning that London would be the first city to be hit with a nuclear strike if World War III kicks off.
London is "first to be hit" if WW3 starts, says Andrey Gurulyov, Putin's close political ally.
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) June 24, 2022
So far, the U.S. government has supplied Ukraine with approximately $54 billion in military weaponry, equipment, and humanitarian assistance since Russia launched its special military operation on February 24.