New York City defends ad on how to survive nuclear attack

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New York City officials defended the ad, saying the timing has nothing to do with heightened tensions with Russia over the war in Ukraine.

New York City’s emergency management office has come under scrutiny over a decision to broadcast a public service announcement advising city residents on how to survive a nuclear weapons attack.

The office on Wednesday defended its decision, stating that the ad was intended to spread awareness about how to survive a nuclear attack in the event that a nuclear weapon was aimed at New York.

“There is no immediate threat to the city, but we felt it was important that we raise this topic,” said Allison Pennisi, chief of public information for NYC Emergency Management.

The 90-second ad, released online by the department on Monday, begins with a person saying, “So there has been a nuclear attack. Don’t ask me how or why, just know that the big one has struck.”

The surprising announcement is followed by three pieces of advice: get in, stay in and stay tuned for more information.

City dwellers are also being told not to hide near windows, being advised to check with officials for updates, and to throw out all outerwear “to keep radioactive dust or ash away from your body”.

The informational video ends with the host uttering words of encouragement that some may find insufficient to navigate the aftermath of a nuclear attack: “Okay? You got this.”

The website ready.gov, which also offers tips for surviving a nuclear attack and has a looming image of a nuclear explosion as its background, echoes many of those suggestions.

New York City residents were divided over the ad.

“I think this message is a little alarming,” said Lauren Hurwitz, a New York real estate agent.

“Honestly, there are so many other things to worry about.”

Officials have downplayed suggestions that the ad’s timing was linked to heightened concerns about the potential for nuclear war between the United States and Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday the federal government was not involved in the ad’s launch.

New York City Council member Joann Ariola told Reuters news agency that the public service announcement was just one of many ads that allay residents’ concerns.

The city’s mayor, Eric Adams, also defended the decision at a news conference Tuesday, denying the ad was “alarming.”

As Russia and the US spar over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a debate has arisen over the possibility of nuclear war between the two superpowers and how much that possibility should affect US thinking about its support. to Ukraine.

Given the destructive capabilities of such weapons, even a small chance of such a conflict breaking out is considered by some to be grounds for serious restraint and caution.

Nuclear-armed states spent more than $82 billion on such weapons by 2021, more than half of it by the US.

Other nuclear-weapon states include the United Kingdom, France, China, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea, and watchdog groups warn that the global stockpile of nuclear weapons is expected to increase.

The US dropped two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, making it the only country to have used nuclear weapons against another country.



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