For most of the Cold War, people lived under the permanent shadow of instant nuclear annihilation. Glad we somehow survived that and no nukes had been unleashed in anger since the World War II. However, those same weapons that scared people thirty years ago still sit in their silos, waiting...
Today, only people living near North Korea have to be afraid of random nuclear death. This also applies to people who have the bad luck to be serviced by incompetent early warning agencies shooting off random messages of incoming nuclear attacks. In any case, what is a man to do to prepare for the time when the mushrooms go up?
Build a nuclear fallout room
It's unlikely that you'll build a Fallout Vault, but you can construct a fallout room. This room would have to sustain you, your family and possibly your friends for 14 days straight following an attack. Choose a place that's the furthest from the outside walls and rooms, as that's the safest place to hid from the radiation.
Block up the windows
Use any solid materials you can get your hands on: bricks, furniture, concrete, timber, even books or clothes. If you live in a flat, try to cozy up with your neighbors. If you live in a bungalow, your roof will catch too much of the radioactive material, so try to move in who lives in a two-story house.
Build a fallout cubbyhole in your fallout room
Make a smaller shelter inside the fallout room where's you'll stay for at least two days and nights after the attack, when the radiation levels are at their most critical. Take doors from unused rooms to craft hinged doors for a table and crawl under it.
Prepare food and drink
A person needs 3.5 gallons of water to last 14 days – stock twice as much. Have some variety in the food you stock.
Be aware of the outside world
Have an FM/AM and/or shortwave radio that can run on batteries – that way you can listen to emergency broadcasts even when the power grid is down.
Assemble a survival kit
The minimal kit is:
•Sleeping bags and other bedding;
•Flashlight and batteries, candles and matches/lighter, a portable stove and an independent fuel supply;
•A toilet bucket and/or plastic bags and a roll of TP;
•Kitchen stuff like a can/bottle opener, crockery, saucepans and cutlery, dishcloths;
•Disinfectant, a First Aid kit, rubber gloves, dustpans and brushes;
•Loads of reading material, clock.
Contain fire hazards
Net-like curtains can catch fire. Leave the heavy ones, they'll protect you from flying glass. You might even paint the inside of you windows with diluted, light-color emulsion paint to reflect the heat from the nuclear flash. Keep buckets of water everywhere.
If you haven't been vaporized by the detonation, you have to act fast before the fallout descends. Put out small fires around the house, help neighbors if you can. However, once you get into your fallout room, don't go out until you hear the all-clear over the radio.
Deal with any corpses
A body should be moved to another room of the house shortly after death and securely covered up before getting back into the fallout room. You can temporarily bury the body once you hear the all-clear on the radio.