It's a given that we all have limited time to prepare. Nobody knows when the next disaster will come, and what form it will come in. It would certainly be a great thing to be prepared for some zombie apocalypse where you have an underground compound stocked with 500 years' worth of supplies and a complete surgical wing. And wouldn't it be great if we were each trained to be dentists, neurosurgeons, soldiers, masons, electricians, etc?
Unfortunately, we all have to start somewhere. Start with the things you have the most control over. We all know how important water is, so start with that. Bottled water is not expensive and it is pretty easy to explain to even the most dubious (Did I use that word correctly?) wife why a good supply of water is important. Then we know how important food is, so go there. Not everybody has the ability to go out and buy a dozen pallets of MREs at once, so for the normal people, buy a few extra days of non-perishable food every time you go grocery shopping. Make sure you're rotating your stock (That includes water, as it can go bad) when you prepare your normal meals so if things do go to hell you don't find yourself with a stockpile of expired canned food.
Survival skills are easy to learn and fun to practice with the family. Figure out which skills you need the most and practice them. Personally, I am most focused on medical skills because of the complexity of the human body and the fact that medical treatment becomes more critical in austere environments where our normal infrastructure isn't available. Controlling bleeding, restoring an airway, and resetting a dislocated joint are probably going to be more critical than learing how to make transpiration bags or cups from gourds. Basic first aid skills are something that can really come in handy even in normal life. Anyone ever witness a car accident or other injury in public life?
Living in Missouri, I know that I need to be prepared for about three weeks of no electricity due to recent snowstorm-induced power outages. Once I had the three weeks' worth of supplies set aside, I could focus on lengthening that stockpile. Ammo was easy for me with as much as I shoot already.
Some skills and devices can be acquired with the intent on reducing expenses and will also come in handy should the world go to hell. Home canning, rain water catchment systems, and gardening are three things I personally plan to start when my tour here in sunny Cuba is up, but your particular needs may be best served with other things.
"I have always been a soldier. I have known no other life. The calling of arms, I have followed from boyhood. I have never sought another." From The Virtues of War, by Steven Pressfield.
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