A serious, coordinated cyber attack could easily disrupt us enough to cause social collapse – and from the attacker’s point of view, it’s even safer than an EMP. It’s hard to prove who carried it out; even if you can pin down where the attackers were located, their government can claim it was nothing to do with them. Meanwhile the attack could cause a runaway collapse, where the failure of one system brings down others in a cascade it could take years to recover from.
Mass is what blocks radiation. Concrete is useful because it’s both dense and strong, so it gets used in a lot of bunker construction. Steel is also useful, but it can become radioactive itself by neutron activation. (So close to ground zero, you’ll need to protect the steel from neutrons – boron or water are the most common ways to reduce neutron flux damage to the protected space.) But there is no reason you can’t use lots of dirt, water, stone, etc. Anything that has mass will attenuate radiation.

Now that you’ve sorted out a proper food store you can start stocking it. When it comes to storage life and bulk, dry goods are supreme. You can store a few weeks’ worth of canned or packet foods, but with dry goods you can easily be self-sufficient for months or even years. Start your food reserve with 20 pounds of rice (white lasts longer in storage) and 20 pounds of dried beans. Between them those two will give you a solid reserve of carbohydrates and protein, and you can use them as a base for a whole range of recipes supplemented with seasonings, canned or dried ingredients, and food you’ve harvested from nature.

I am officially embarrassed to be an American. My niece just told me she wants to be a prepper because she’s afraid for the future, and wanted some help getting started. I asked her what she wanted to prepare for, and you know what she said? “I’m afraid the president is going to get us killed with the things he says and does.”. I may not be a big fan of him, but that just embarrasses the hell out of me.
Freeze-dried food is nothing new. As early as the 13th century, the ancient Quechua and Aymara people of Bolivia and Peru pioneered a form of the process by exposing potatoes to the freezing temperatures of the Andes overnight, then drying them in the sun. In 1937, Nestlé used industrial technology to create the world’s first freeze-dried coffee, and in the 60s and 70s, the US military shipped freeze-dried food rations to the troops in Vietnam.