New York’s Frightening Public Service Announcement: Just What are They Planning?

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

As if the Big Apple wasn’t already scary enough with ongoing mask mandates, rising crime, monkeypox, and progressive politics, now New Yorkers are being scared to death with nuclear war public service announcements. 

On Monday, New York City’s Emergency Management Department released a 90-second public service announcement that featured empty streets, blaring sirens, and a woman oddly clad in all black telling us, “So there’s been a nuclear attack. Don’t ask me how or why,” as she strolls through the empty New York city streets. “Just know that the big one has hit, OK? So, what do we do?”

In the public service announcement, the woman in black tells us that the first thing we need to do is to get off the streets. “And no, staying in the car is not an option,” she says. “You need to get into a building and move away from the windows.” Once inside, New Yorkers are advised to stay inside and shut every door and window.

“Have a basement? Head there,” she continues. “If you don’t have one, get as far into the middle of the building as possible.”

She advises the public that once inside after the “blast,” residents are told they should wash the dust from their bodies. 

The PSA ends with instructions to follow media for more information (as if) and sign up for “Notify NYC” updates to know when it’s safe to go back outside.

Alright, you’ve got this,” the woman in black says at the end of the creepy and cryptic PSA. 

“The likelihood of a nuclear weapon incident occurring in/near New York City is very low. However, it’s important New Yorkers know the steps to stay safe,” said a spokesperson from NYC Emergency Management Department. “The new PSA encourages New Yorkers to take key, simple steps in the event of such an incident.” I’ve watched the cringy-worthy video a few times, and I don’t feel better prepared for a nuclear attack. Nor do I think the PSA issue this week was beneficial. Watching it just left me confused about why they would air it in the first place.

According to NYC Emergency Management Commissioner, Zach Iscol, “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.”

SO, why all of a sudden would the city of New York issue such a bizarre public service announcement when New Yorkers have so much to be concerned with already on a daily basis? The fear comes from the growing tensions abroad and the fear of Russia’s ongoing advancement into Eastern Europe. This has caused a growing concern and has global economies unsettled, and eerily reminiscent of the days of the arms races in the 1980s. 

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, nine nations of the world control more than 13,000 nuclear weapons. With that being said, earth sciences and computational researchers are working together so that they can better understand the horrifying dystopian landscape that could be the result of a nuclear war. But what are we looking at in the future, exactly? What are “they” not telling us? 

“Nuclear warfare results in dire consequences for everyone,” said Alan Robock, a Department of Environmental Sciences professor at Rutgers University. “World leaders have used our studies previously as an impetus to end the nuclear arms race in the 1980s, and five years ago to pass a treaty in the United Nations to ban nuclear weapons.” So much for the ban on nuclear weapons. Stay tuned for more creepy nuclear war PSAs.


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