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NYC issues super upbeat PSA for surviving the nuclear apocalypse

It's the end of the world as we know it, and you'll be fine

Ever the optimist, New York has reminded its citizens of what they should do in the event of a nuclear attack. And not just any nuclear attack either, but the "big one."

As noted by Bloomberg, the NYC Emergency Management organization, which "helps New Yorkers before, during, and after emergencies through preparedness, education, and response," struck a surprisingly upbeat tone about the imminent destruction of the city in a video published yesterday.

Youtube Video

Far from recommending that citizens either go to be with their loved ones or head to a great vantage spot with that expensive bottle of whisky you've been saving to watch the end of the world unfold, NYC Emergency Management has a simple three-step plan:

  1. Get inside fast, and don't stay in the car
  2. Stay inside, and shut all doors and windows. Head to a basement if possible. Remove and bag all outer clothing if exposed outdoors
  3. Stay tuned for the latest information

Yes, never mind that the electromagnetic pulse would render any nearby electronic communication device utterly useless, just sit tight and wait for information.

The guidelines also neglect to mention that, depending on your distance from the blast (assuming a direct hit of the "big one" on New York), you are dead. And if not dead, horrendously injured.

If we're talking "big one," the largest nuclear weapon ever tested by the USSR – because, let's be real, Russia is the most likely to push the button right now – was the 100-megaton Tsar Bomba.

If we input that payload into a simulator (have fun playing with that) and choose surface impact on the center of New York, we're given estimated fatalities of almost 8 million, more than 4 million injuries, and nuclear fallout that could reach as far north as Quebec in Canada (depending which way the wind is blowing). These factors are subject to change if the detonation is an airburst, and change once again depending on the height of detonation.

The actual Tsar Bomba test was modified to halve its yield because it was deemed too destructive for Soviet Russia – but it still obliterated buildings more than 50km from impact.

The terrifying thought is how nuclear weapons may have developed since the Cold War; they could be far more powerful.

What NYC Emergency Management cheerily glosses over is that if you're in New York and a nuclear bomb hits the city, you don't have a chance in hell. A building is not going to protect you from thermal radiation burns, blindness, ensuing radiation sickness, fallout, and a slow, painful death.

A better job would have been to recommend that citizens watch Threads, a 1984 film produced by the BBC which depicts an attack on Britain and its aftermath with harrowing realism. ®

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