NYC Mayor Adams denies recent nuclear attack PSA was 'alarmist': 'Better safe than sorry'

Mayor Eric Adams says there are 'no imminent threats to the city'

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New York City’s Democratic Mayor Eric Adams on Tuesday defended the Big Apple’s recent public service announcement advising what to do in the event of a nuclear attack, denying that the new video released by the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) earlier this week was alarmist in nature. 

"No, I don’t think it was alarmist. I’m a big believer in better safe than sorry," Adams said at an unrelated news conference on Tuesday. "I take my hat off to OEM. This was right after the attacks in Ukraine, and OEM took a very proactive step to say let’s be prepared. It doesn’t mean just a nuclear attack."

"It’s any natural disaster. Pack a bag. Know where your medicines are located. These are just smart things to do. Many of us, we think about COVID, and other things that have been on the forefront, but we’re still one of the top terrorist threats," Adams said at the event hosted to announce a lawsuit against an illegal short-term rental operation in New York City. 

"There are no imminent threats to the city that we know about," he added. "But we always have to be prepared as New Yorkers, and I think OEM did the right thing. We’re always going to be proactive – not panicked – be we’re going to be prepared." 

FALLOUT NYC? NEW YORK CITY RELEASES PSA ON WHAT TO DO IN NUCLEAR ATTACK OR INCIDENT 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams listens to a question about the Office of Emergency Management's recent Nuclear Preparedness PSA during an unrelated press conference about illegal short-term rentals. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams listens to a question about the Office of Emergency Management's recent Nuclear Preparedness PSA during an unrelated press conference about illegal short-term rentals.  (NYC Mayor's Office)

In releasing its "Nuclear Preparedness PSA" Monday via YouTube, New York City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) stressed that "while the likelihood of a nuclear weapon incident occurring in/near NYC is very low, it is important New Yorkers known the steps to say safe." 

The 1:31 video begins with sirens blaring in a digitized cityscape. A woman dressed in all black then appears, stating, "So there’s been a nuclear attack.

"Don’t ask me how or why. Just know the big one has hit," she says. "OK, so what do we do?" 

NYC Office of Emergency Management's new Nuclear Preparedness PSA tells viewers not to ask how or why in the event of a nuclear attack. 

NYC Office of Emergency Management's new Nuclear Preparedness PSA tells viewers not to ask how or why in the event of a nuclear attack.  (NYC Emergency Management)

The woman advises viewers, their friends and family to get inside fast, stressing that staying in a car is not an option. She instructs viewers to stay inside and shut all doors and windows. Anyone who was outside during the blast should get clean immediately and remove and bag all outer clothing to keep all radioactive dust or ash away from your body. The third step is to stay tuned for city announcements. 

"Don’t go outside until officials say it’s safe," she says. "All right, you’ve got this." 

American country music artist John Rich was one major critic to question the timing of the PSA. 

NYC Office of Emergency Management lists steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack, including to stay indoors and away from windows. 

NYC Office of Emergency Management lists steps to take in the event of a nuclear attack, including to stay indoors and away from windows.  (NYC Emergency Management)

In a message to his more than half a million Twitter followers Monday, he noted, "The last time I saw a video like this, I was in the 4th grade when it was Reagan vs Gorbachev." 

"Anybody have any idea why NYC needs to get the word out about ‘what to do in a nuclear attack?’ What the hell is going on?" he wrote. 

DEFCON Warning System, which brands itself as a private intelligence organization that has monitored and assessed nuclear threats by national entities since 1984, acknowledged that New York City began its "nuclear attack preparedness public service announcement," noting that "this was not in response to any specific threat." 

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Since the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine months ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a series of nuclear threats in an effort to dissuade NATO countries from directly intervening in the war. 

The PSA in New York City was released as President Biden is expected to travel to Israel Wednesday to, in part, make a joint declaration against Iran and its nuclear program. Reuters reported that Biden’s visit also aims to promote stability in the region and deter aggression by Russia and China.