Everything I've ever wanted to know, I've learned from scifi movies — especially when it comes to surviving the end of days. Be it a vengeful Mother Nature, plague, monsters, animal packs or the undead, any kind of doomsday , I'll be ready for. The key is to follow the steps of past scifi characters (or learn from their mistakes.)
Never Go Through A Tunnel
It seems like a quick and easy way out, but dark and scary passageways usually house bad things that you don't want to bother with in the middle of fleeing for your life. It's simple: tunnels=death, for at least one person in the group. This is a tried and true fact of apocalyptic movies. Take for example the idiot drivers who decided to take the tunnel in Independence Day, toasted via fire ball (except for the ones who had that dog, but more on that later). Also who could forget the night vision moments in Cloverfield walking through New York's subway system. Avoid tunnels at all costs.
Do Not Join A Theme Gang
With the world ending, there will be many sad sacks who will try and recreate a Mad Max road warrior gang. Resist the urge to join anything theme-oriented. Basic rule of thumb: if you look like an idiot with a face tattoo or a fool running around in Medieval garb, you're going to get the sharp end of the death stick. Doomsday spelled this out pretty clearly: everyone who looked ridiculous got a ridiculous ending. Motorcycle gangs count too, don't forget even Romero's Dawn of the Dead leather riders got their just rewards for their hideous outfits and bad attitudes. Stick to the rag-tag refugee look, or lone wolf army motif. If you have to join a gang, stay in the back and never do anything you might later regret — like eat people.
Do Not Go Back For Loved Ones
If the world is ending, you may feel the need to find love ones that are in Princeton, a New York Library or a high rise apartment. This is a bad idea. Let go of your emotions and assume that everyone else in the world is dead, or trying to steal your food supplies. Going after loved ones almost always means your own death or the death of someone in the group. Look at it this way, it your loved one has survived and you meet up with them, bonus for you. But most likely they died from the plague, zombies, earthquake flood or whatever.
Never Be The First
I can't believe this even has to be said but no, do not go exploring in rooms, attic, caves, hallways or apartments where you are the first one in the door. My favorite character from Resident Evil Extinction, L.J., got bit by a zombie lady because he was checking out all the rooms to make sure it was safe. Let someone else do this, get a job as a medic or cook. There is no need for you to be first to go anywhere — let someone else do the exploring. If they find something really good, you can kill them and take it anyway.
Bring Your Pet
If you don't have a pet, I suggest you go to the pet store and steal one, looter style, or take care of your dead neighbors'. You may need this pet to help you keep your sanity or sacrifice its life for you, like in I Am Legend. Either way, animals are good luck when the chips are down for humans. You never know when a pair of love birds will come in handy to calm down a flock of murderous seagulls and crows. The same rule sometimes applies to children, but you will have to feed them considerably more.
Ditch The Biggest Guy In Your Group
They will turn into a zombie or rage machine, it's proven. Kill them before they kill you, or just ditch them at the next pass.
Don't Trust People In Uniform Unless They Have Defected From The System
Never trust the government, especially when the world is ending. It's a terrible idea, they would rather nuke the whole place than deal with people. If you see the military, run the other way or hide. Do not do what they say. The friendly people of Hollywood followed the advice of the government from Right At Your Door, and what happened to them? Same with the people of Raccoon City, from Resident Evil Apocalypse. Granted an ex-military person hell-bent on sticking it to the man can be a wonderful asset during the end of the world, just be sure to know the difference between the two.
Don't Barricade Yourself In
It always seems like a good idea, but 9 times out of 10 whatever you're trying to keep out gets in and now you're trapped. Think of the mess it caused for the cute little family in the beginning of28 Weeks Later and Shaun of the Dead. I say build a sky city in the trees.
Finally if all else fails, find the closest fridge, step in, and pray for a miracle.