The City Rolls Out a New PSA About … Nuclear War?

Photo: NYC Emergency Management

It’s summertime in New York, which means that city officials are warning us about crime. Most often, that means Mayor Eric Adams or the NYPD is advising residents how to stay safe during holidays like the Fourth of July. But this year the Department of Emergency Management went a little bigger, informing residents what to do if the city is on the business end of a crime against humanity.

On Monday, the department released a 90-second spot on how to survive in the aftermath of a nuclear attack. In the cadence of a flight attendant giving a preflight safety spiel, the narrator provides some pretty basic info: Go inside, stay inside, and wash your clothes, body, and hair (but no conditioner) if you think you might have been exposed to fallout. Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Emergency Management updates!

The PSA’s timing is nearly as strange as its material. Gone are the worries of terrorists getting their hands on a dirty bomb, first in the aftermath of the Soviet Union’s collapse — and later during the more active years of the War on Terror. Gone, too, are the early years of the Trump administration, when fears of a nuclear exchange spiked after the president threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” on Twitter.

Bringing up a nuclear threat when the prospects (here, at least) are extremely low might not be the best idea, since even the mild scenarios are so much worse than you might think. Besides, don’t they want office workers to come back to Manhattan?

The City Rolls Out a New PSA About … Nuclear War?