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The New York City Emergency Management Department shared an explainer video titled Nuclear Preparedness PSA (public service announcement).
The video is captioned, “While the likelihood of a nuclear weapon incident occurring in/near NYC is very low, it is important New Yorkers know the steps to stay safe,” though it is unclear why New York officials decided to share the video now.
When announcing the new PSA, New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol said in a statement: "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."
Jennifer Jacobs, a senior White House reporter for Bloomberg news reported that Jake Sullivan, White House National Security Advisor to President Joe Biden, said: "I do not believe that it was the result of any intelligence-sharing from the federal government to New York City that led to this. I can’t speak as to why they put it out at this point."
However, although New York officials did not offer any explanation for why they released the video now, it was reported in June that experts say public information campaigns about nuclear attack or accident should restart as the threat to the UK has risen to Cold War levels.
A paper titled “Rethinking our readiness for rapid response radiation monitoring in the face of nuclear incidents” recommend that the Government should start up a nuclear attack or accident public information campaign, warning people what to do in the event of a serious event.
The video opens with a woman, on a typical New York City street, who says: “So there’s been a nuclear attack. Don’t ask me how or why, just know that the big one has hit.”
She then takes viewers through the three steps they should take to stay safe in the event of a nuclear attack.
The first step is to “get inside…fast.” New Yorkers are urged to get into a building and move away from the windows.
The second step is to stay inside, with the windows and doors shut. They should head to their basement, or if they don’t have one, as close to the middle of the building as possible.
If someone were outside during the nuclear blast, they should get clean immediately, by removing their clothing and having a shower using soap and shampoo. They would need to bag the clothing to keep ash and radioactive dust away from their body.
The final step is to stay tuned, by following media announcements for more information and signing up for Notify NYC for official alerts.