This is scary but certainly warranted.
On Monday, New York City’s emergency management office released a public service announcement (PSA) with tips on what residents should do in case of a nuclear attack.
“There is no direct threat to the city but we felt it was important that we addressed this topic,” said Allison Pennisi, head of public information for NYC Emergency Management.
It’s likely no coincidence the commercial was created and aired amid Russia’s war with Ukraine.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, in response to U.S. aid to Ukraine and American-led international sanctions on Russia, has hurled threats to the West, suggesting his country’s use of nuclear weapons was on the table.
“To anyone who would consider interfering from outside: If you do, you will face consequences greater than any you have faced in history,” Putin said, soon after launching his invasion of Ukraine in February.
“All the relevant decisions have been taken. I hope you hear me.”
And in April, Mr. Putin told the Russian Federal Assembly’s Council of Legislators in St. Petersburg. “We have all the tools for this. The kind that no one else can boast of right now. And…we will use them if needed.”
Couple Putin’s actions in Ukraine with his tough talk we can never be too prepared, especially in lieu of Russia’s new sophisticated weaponry. In the past few years, they’ve developed hypersonic weapons that fly so fast and low — at speeds of up to Mach 6 and at a low atmospheric-ballistic trajectory — that they a) can penetrate traditional anti-missile defense systems and b) might be able to allude United States’ traditional early warning systems. Hence, it’s conceivable we could be nuked without having first detected the missiles on radar.
“The missile flies with an advanced fuel that the Russians say gives it a range of up to 1,000 kilometers. And it’s so fast that the air pressure in front of the weapon forms a plasma cloud as it moves, absorbing radio waves and making it practically invisible to active radar systems,” stated Blake Stilwell via Military.com.
And even if the military can detect them on radar, citizens will have a lot less time to prepare than we did 10 years ago should a hypersonic missile come our way. And yes, Putin has publicly bragged about possessing this very capability that no other country apparently has.
Although the commercial certainly seems necessary, opinion was divided following its release.
“I think this message is a little alarming,” said Lauren Hurwitz, an NYC realtor told Reuters. “Quite frankly, there’s so many other things going on to worry about. And if I have to find cover somewhere, I definitely will.”
Matt Devine, a sales worker at an NYC tech startup, disagreed, telling Reuters, “Just as a precautionary measure more than anything else. Yeah, I’m scared, to tell you the truth. I’m scared. I think about it a lot.”
If you live in a major metropolitan area, especially NYC or Washington, DC, you should have at least some concern.
See the 90-second NYC nuclear attack PSA below.