The financial/economic mess that we're in is not likely to end anytime soon. In fact, it's my opinion that it will get much worse before it gets better. How, then, should you best prepare to take the edge off the hard times and continue to live well? I have a few basic suggestions below.
The three basic needs are, of course, food and water, clothing, and shelter. Be sure to store away at least a three-month supply of non-perishable food items such as rice, dried beans, pasta, grits, flour and cornmeal, canned meats, fruits, and vegetables (rotate your supply of these items), salt, sugar, coffee, lard, etc. Don’t forget to store up a supply of non-hybrid seeds for planting a garden. You might want to plant some fruit trees, bushes, vines, and canes as well. Also, you might consider some sort of camp stove and fuel or a grill and a good supply of charcoal for cooking. If you have a well or spring you are pretty much set for drinking water. Be sure to make provision for getting water from your well minus an electric pumping system, however. If you don’t have a well or spring, I suggest you store up some bottled water for the short term; however, for a longer duration you might consider getting a high quality water purification system such as those used by missionaries and others who regularly travel to Third World countries. These things will make muddy water drinkable in short time and have the capacity to handle several thousand gallons of water before a filter change is necessary.
Make sure you have a good supply of sturdy clothing (including boots, shoes, and plenty of laces) for all weather conditions and seasons. When hard times come, you’ll most likely be spending a good deal of time out of doors. Also, make provision to mend items you will not be able to replace. Fashion will be out and practicality will be in.
As for shelter, the first thing you should do is pay off your mortgage and own your home and some land (even if it’s just a half an acre on which you can plant a garden or have a few chickens) free and clear. Make sure you do needed repairs before the trouble begins. Remember, too, that if the power goes there will be no air conditioning and that most modern houses are not constructed to deal with the Southern summer heat minus AC. It can get miserable in a hurry. As for heating, don’t count on a ready supply of natural gas. Rather, you will need to have access to a steady supply of wood for fireplace or wood stove or heater. That means stockpiling several cords or having the implements to cut your own. If possible, you might be able to have on hand enough gasoline and oil to power a chain saw for a while; however, don’t neglect those old fashioned axes and crosscut saws.
A few closing thoughts. . . . First, get yourself in decent physical shape and get off any unnecessary medications. The foundation for sound health is eating good, natural food. Change your eating habits, if necessary. Second, buy a gun and lots of ammo (.223 or .308 caliber is the most common for long arms and 9mm, .357 or .45 for side arms) and learn to shoot and defend yourself and your family. Be sure to abide by your State’s gun laws. Third, begin forming local communities. If you live in the heart of a big city or even the suburbs, consider getting out to a small town or rural area, preferably an area in which you know someone already living there. You don’t want to be “behind enemy lines” when the trouble starts. Fourth, get out of debt as soon as possible. The debtor is a slave to the lender.
Live well . . .