When I first realized the need to be prepared for bad times, I did some online research. I watched videos. I read blogs. I looked up statistics.
I found there was a vast amount of information out there. There were sites that told me about the gear that every prepper had to have. There were lists of foods that were absolutely necessary to store. Other sites showed me how to survive out in the woods.
I dutifully made lists of the recommended items. I searched online for the best prices on various items. I worked out scenarios of what would constitute a SHTF moment and what would be needed in those situations.
And then my common sense side said, "Hold on. How much of this stuff really applies to you."
First off, I am not going to be building any shelters in the middle of the forest. I am an old woman with health issues. I am connected 24/7 to an oxygen machine, fondly referred to as R2D2, due to it's size and shape. I would be hard pressed to make it to the end of the block, to say nothing of heading to the hills. Having knowledge of bushcraft skills might be fine for someone young and healthy, but for me...not so much.
These facts eliminated the need for specialized gear. My gear consists of a variety of flashlights, oil lamps and candles. It includes a propane camp stove and a propane space heater. It also includes two pressure canners and two dehydrators. The dehydrators will be useless if the lights go out, but in the meantime they have made it possible to stock up on dried food. The rest of my gear is the normal household tools and utensils.
Most of those of my vintage are on a fixed income. We can't justify spending large amounts of money on the recommended freeze dried foods or the pre-packaged ready to eat meals. My solution to this problem is home canning of a variety of meats and vegetables and fruits along with lots of soups and stews that only need to be heated or, in a pinch, can be eaten right out of the jar.
Not everyone has the skills or equipment for home canning. But by adding a few extra cans of food every time one shops for groceries, a deep pantry can be a reality over time. Some of you are aware of the fact that due to health issues, I use a grocery delivery service. Each delivery includes a couple of items I can not make at home, like sugar, flour, powdered milk, rice, etc. These are stored away for future use. I use what I store, so food is rotated out and replaced regularly.
I once watched a video of a woman who had a full sized chest of drawers completely filled with health and medical supplies. She had everything from leg splints to neck braces to several kinds of over the counter pain killers to vitamins of every kind. There were medications for every possible situation. I was impressed.
But I can not afford to do the same. What I have done is to stock up on the basics - aspirin, burn cream, peroxide, alcohol, band-aids, cough drops, etc. I add to the stash from time to time - items like diarrhea medication, multi vitamins, antibiotic salves. And I found a good First-Aid book that covers the common medical and injury needs.
If a person has the wherewithal and the storage space for a full compliment of prepping items, good for them. But most of us tend to pinch a penny or two in our daily lives, so we do the best we can with what we have to work with.
The main point is that we do something. Sitting idly by, waiting for the government to rescue us in times of disaster isn't going to cut it. The way things are going, I doubt that rescue will be on the minds of 'our betters.' Seems more likely they will be the ones we have to watch out for. The better prepared we are, the better our chances.
Keep on prepping.