As Iran and North Korea continue to develop and proliferate nuclear weapons technology--with the tacit approval of China and Russia--the probability of a nuclear engagement between the "warlord governments" and the developed western world is increasing.
When the USSR fell of its own centrally-planned ineptitude, most people believed they would never need to worry about nuclear war again. Scholar Francis Fukuyama even went so far as to predict "the end of history." Who can blame all of those naive optimists for believing that it would be downhill coasting from then on?
Well, they were wrong, and history is working overtime to create another world war and perhaps a nuclear world war. So what is a prudent, intelligent, and informed person to do? I barely have the heart to tell you that you need to brush up on your nuclear war survival skills.
I suggest that you begin with Chaper 1, and take your time with it. Most people believe that a nuclear war between the great powers would mean the end of humans on earth--or at least the end of civilisation. On the Beach by Nevil Schute was pivotal in shaping popular beliefs about the consequences of a world nuclear war. Several other post- apocalyptipc novels helped to round out this bleak outlook.
Make no mistake--a large scale nuclear war would the worst event in human history up until now. The huge nuclear arsenals possessed by Russia and the US, and the huge arsenal being rapidly built up by China, would guarantee a human and environmental disaster unprecedented in history.
Still, if you knew that you could survive a nuclear war--given a little luck--would you be willing to take the trouble to learn how? Many people would not. Many people feel that if such a disastrous cataclysm were to occur, with the horrific loss of life, that they themselves would not want to live.
I understand that. Any survivors of a large scale disaster of that magnitude would have to work like hell to have any kind of decent life at all. In other words, any survivor of a large scale disaster has to have personal competence, and hopefully good health and personal integrity. Because who would want to live in a world that was run by Pol Pot characters or Hell's Angels?
The personal integrity and good health are up to you, as is the general life competence that comes in so handy when the unexpected happens. But specific knowledge and skills that could help you and your family survive a nuclear war, is something that you just have to work at, to learn. Either you want to survive or you don't, should such an unspeakable horror occur.
Update: Also see this Al Fin posting, with links to motivational videos.