Fear City

Cover of FEAR CITY survival guide

Cover of FEAR CITY survival guide

While researching the 1977 Blackout we came across this 1975 pamphlet intended to scare tourists out of visiting the city, titled "Welcome to Fear City: A Survival Guide for Visitors to the City of New York." Fear City was created by the Council for Public Safety, a group of NYPD, FDNY and other city employees reacting to an announcement by Mayor Beame that the city was considering laying off 10,000 uniformed officers. The Council for Public Safety hoped to make NYC seem so terrifying that the thought of laying off police and firefighters would be unbearable: "to "solve" his budget problems, Mayor Beame is going to discharge substantial numbers of firefighters and law enforcement officer of all kinds. By the time you read this, the number of public safety personnel available to protect residents and visitors may have already been still further reduced... Until things change, stay away from New York City if you possibly can.”

FEAR CITY illustrated nine guidelines to help New Yorker's "survive and even keep their property intact."

•Stay off the streets after 6 p.m.
•Do not walk — "If you must leave your hotel... summon a taxi by telephone."
•Avoid public transportation — "You should never ride the subway for any reason whatsoever."
•Remain in Manhattan — "If you remain in midtown areas and restrict your travel to daylight hours, emergency service personnel are best able to provide protection."
•Protect your property
•Safeguard your handbag
•Conceal property in automobiles
•Do not leave valuables in your hotel room, and do not deposit them in hotel vault
•Be aware of fire hazards

At least 1 million copies of the pamphlet were printed.

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