What to Do If Your City Is Hit by a Nuclear Missile

Have you ever wondered what you would do if you, a resident of a large metropolis, were going about your business and, looking up, saw a rocket flying right at you? Well, you’re in luck: this week, the New York City Office of Emergency Management released new guidance on what to do in the event of a nuclear attack.

While the likelihood of a nuclear weapon hitting New York is low, New York City Emergency Commissioner Zach Iscol said in a statement, “As the threat landscape continues to evolve, it’s important New Yorkers know we’re preparing for any imminent threats. and provide them with the resources they need to stay safe and informed.” Attached to the application is a 90-second video on what to do in the event of this rare occurrence – advice that applies to any city dweller. The guide boils down to three key points (spoiler alert: this isn’t exactly a comforting or reliable guide).

Get inside

In the event of a nuclear attack, NYCEM’s first order of business is to get yourself and your family to the building as quickly as possible. A car is not a viable alternative; you’ll want to get inside a large building if possible and stay away from windows.

stay inside

Once you are safely inside a building or large structure, do not leave it. NYCEM recommends that you close all doors and windows and go to the basement or, in the absence of a basement, as far into the middle of the building as possible. If you were outside at the time of the explosion, try to take a shower as soon as possible. After washing thoroughly with soap and shampoo, it’s a good idea to pack all the clothes you’ve worn outside to protect your body from radioactive dust or ash.

Follow the news in the media

Once you’re safely inside and cleared out, the next tip is to keep an eye on the media for more information on how to proceed. As a preventative measure, NYCEM recommends that you sign up for free official emergency alerts in your preferred language and format at nyc.gov/notifynyc. The organization recommends that you do not go outside until you have checked with officials that it is safe to leave the building.


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