The year is 2107.
Exactly 2 years ago 5 bombs were dropped onto both North America and South Asia from Russia due to failing their request to give up land. Many survived and many died. You are a survivor.
Birchwood, a some what safe area, but still crawling with mutated animals and feral ghouls, people who's minds were melted in the blast, leaving a blood thirsty husk of what they once were. But supplies here are going to be scarce soon, if you run out you may need to search further.
The Deserted Wastelands, your rad meter will start to tick here, although some power armor or RadX can keep the radiation at bay. Glowing ones are more common here, but still rare. There are abandoned train stations and shops, a couple churches, a Subway station and sewer line. Supplies are more common and easier to find here.