I'm new to this site. I've been concerned about the economy for some time. This week we'll be borrowing money from a 401k. I want to put half into gold and half into food, water, and other supplies. I plan on having at least a gallon of water per person for a year. I came up with a simple design using concrete blocks and 4'x8' sheets of plywood. I should be able to store at least 96 gallons per layer. We have a wood fire place but I'm concerned that in the event of a total societal meltdown that wood smoke would just alert other people that we have heat and possibly food. We're going to get some portable kerosene heaters, a couple of portable kerosene cooking stoves, and about 200 gallons of kerosene. I think gasoline is going to go up rapidly so now is the time to stock up if I can buy it this time of year. I've also been thinking about personal protection. I found a site that suggests a 20 gauge shotgun rather than a pistol. The theory being that you need multiple shots from a pistol to incapacitate an intruder.