New video features Broadway stars offering tips on how New Yorkers can prepare for emergencies
April 12, 2016 — When disaster looms, one department is ready to keep the citizens of New York City prepared. NYC Emergency Management has teamed up with Disaster! on Broadway for a new public service announcement. The PSA features Disaster! stars Seth Rudetsky and Baylee Littrell, who show off their knowledge about emergencies ranging from a gas leak to a blizzard while teaching New Yorkers about the importance of having a Go Bag.
"There are some simple steps New Yorkers can take to make sure they’re prepared for emergencies," said Mayor de Blasio. "We're happy to have partners like the Disaster! cast to emphasize the importance of emergency preparedness."
"When we first spoke to Disaster! about this partnership they said 'you know this is a send up of classic disaster films.' We said yes. If Broadway is bringing Disaster! to this City, then who better to help educate New Yorkers than the men and women tasked with helping them prepare," said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito. "This project is a fresh, fun opportunity to engage people and get them thinking about preparedness. We're happy to call Disaster our new Partner in Preparedness."
Set in the 1970s, Disaster! delivers earthquakes, tidal waves, infernos and 70s hit music like "Knock on Wood," "Hooked On A Feeling," "Sky High," "I Am Woman" and "Hot Stuff." The musical mayhem takes place as the cast set sail on a casino boat doomed for — you guessed it — Disaster!
"Right now, I play a disaster expert in Disaster! on Broadway... a musical which features a multitude of natural disasters. The show is a big, fat comedy but in real life, disasters hurt and kill many people each year," Seth Rudetsky said. "I'm somewhat of a disaster expert in real life and I know that preparing for a disaster is the best way to protect yourself and your family. It's not difficult, it just takes some forethought! I'm very proud to team up with NYC Emergency Management because I know they can help all New Yorkers stay safe!"
Rudetsky stars as a noted disaster expert in the Broadway musical, and he reprises his role in the PSA to teach Littrell about "disaster preparation." Littrell, who plays a disinterested student, calls Rudetsky's expertise "lame." "Of all things to be an expert in: there's sports, music, GIRLS," Littrell says.
"Bet you don't even know the first thing about it (disaster preparation)," Rudetsky fires back. "Fine, try me," Littrell challenges.
Rudetsky then tests Littrell's knowledge of emergency preparedness on everything ranging from a gas leak to a blizzard. The noted "disaster expert" even shows off the items New Yorkers need to pack a Go Bag — a collection of things you would want if you have to leave your home in a hurry. Rudetsky teaches Littrell that a Go Bag should be sturdy and easy to carry, like a backpack. Together, they review important items to keep in a Go Bag, including bottled water, nonperishable food, a first-aid kit, a flashlight with extra batteries, toiletries, and more.
To launch the new PSA, NYC Emergency Management and Disaster! brought Broadway to Brooklyn Tuesday. Rudetsky and Littrell gave students from the Urban Assembly School for Emergency Management and the Brooklyn High School of the Arts an exclusive first look at their new video project and showed the high schoolers how to pack their own Go Bags. Students also learned basic CPR skills and participated in disaster trivia to learn more about New York City hazards. NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Esposito also presented Rudetsky and Littrell with the Partners in Preparedness award for their partnership in preparing New Yorkers for emergencies.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for our students here at Brooklyn H.S of the Arts to practice their preparedness in an emergency situation," said Daniel A. Vecchiano, Assistant Principal of Arts, Physical Education and Operations at Brooklyn High School of the Arts. "As performers themselves, what better way to learn this life-saving information but in the context of a Broadway performance! Thank you to Commissioner Esposito and his staff for having us!"
To view the new public service announcement and learn more about emergency preparedness, visit NYC.gov/emergencymanagement.