The very best thing that a survival minded person can do, after preparing for themselves an equipped place of refuge, and developing their own survival skills, is to associate themselves with other skilled survivalists. No one person can know everything, and almost everyone can contribute something. Agricultural, medical, mechanical, communicator, you name it, all skills will be needed.
Few people could afford the equipment that an organization can have. One well-equipped laboratory for testing for alpha and beta particles in food costs $5,000. Along with other radiation detection equipment and many other types of emergency supplies, what individual can afford it? Yet no nuclear survival group should be without one.
Even in building a shelter the mayor expense is the entrance and support mechanisms such as emergency lighting, water source, etc. The incremental cost for space for one additional individual is quite small. Thus, the greater the number of people the overall cost can be spread over, the less the average cost.
Moreover, no individual has the personal resources that a group has. If the head of a single family survival group is injured or lost the chances of survival for that group are much reduced. However, if it is a large group then there are numbers of people available to continue to give support. Just like there are numbers of people available to maintain twenty-four hour watches, or to create a well manned convoy to go after necessary supplies. One more prepared and equipped individual added to such a group is an asset, whereas in a situation like a public shelter, one more unprepared and unequipped individual is just another liability.
A successful survival group will have to be either completely homogeneous or thoroughly committed to thoroughgoing tolerance and appreciation of a wide range of individual preferences regarding society, economics, religion, and future expectations. Still, a shelter is not a democratic society anymore than is a ship or an airliner. The captain's authority is absolute and one should have confidence in his credentials and ability before boarding.
Neither is a shelter a democracy in the sense that there must be much more stringent rules regarding behavior. Everyone must perform assigned duties. There are no wealthy passengers along for a free ride to be served by others. There are many limitations to personal freedoms such as contraband materials. No drugs or alcohol (except under medical prescription and then as approved by the commander).
All firearms and weapons must be placed in the armory and will not be released except under orders from the commander. All valuables will be receipted and stored in the locker for safekeeping. No private stocks of foods because under survival conditions this can lead to social disorder. No tobacco or smoking inside the shelter, since it would cause discomfort to others.
No loud toys, devices, or other objects that would be environmentally disturbing to others. No large bulky items, or great quantities of any item without the permission of the commander. And no pets or animals unless the survival community has made prior special arrangements for their accommodation.
Tough. Yes, It is tough. But not nearly as tough as the conditions of survival will be for those who are not prepared. There are many items that are not prohibited, and in fact are encouraged. A reasonable supply of one's personal religious literature, the tools and resource manuals of their trade or profession, survival manuals and equipment of every sort, additional supplies of food to be put into the common larder, and extra supplies to be put into the common store.