Hi. I am new to this forum but not new to preparedness. I do not like the term survivalist due to the negative image that word seems to invoke these days. I am definitely not a military wannabe and go about my business of preparing for the future rather quietly. My take is that when something happens you are much better off remaining where you are than packing a "bug out bag" and "heading for the hills". That's where all of the "survivalists" will be and it will be chaos. Of couse, there could be situations that will not let you remain in place. Much better to quietly sit where you are and live off your stored supplies. If you can't stay where you are, you need a stocked and ready retreat (expensive) or you need to move. Your survival and that of your loved ones WILL someday depend on it. In my opinion, these stored supplies should let you live as closely as possible to your current standards of living. For example, if your body and mind are used to eating fried chicken, green beans, hamburgers and drinking tea then it will be quite stressful, in more ways than one, if you and your family are suddenly forced to live off MREs or only beans and rice. Store what you normally eat and rotate it. Very little waste this way. The added stress of a changing diet will only make things that much worse when things go downhill. As for those who think they will take from others that have stored supplies I can only say, not off me. First, you won't know I have it and, secondly, people like me are ready for people like you. I believe being prepared breaks down into a few simple areas for everyone with the specifics being decided only by the individual. There is no magic list that works for everybody. One should consider what they need and use on a daily basis and multiply that by the amount of time they think might be necessary. Remember to prioritize your supplies. One can live three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. (Yes, I know those are not accurate numbers but you get the picture.) First, prepare for your supply of air, not always as easy as it sounds, what if the air surrounding you is contaminated? Secondly, water needs to be assured. One gallon per person per day is a minimum for long term survival. This does not include washing, etc. Thirdly, one needs enough food, real food, for eveyone they will be feeding. I have yet to mention prescrition medicine. These items will be needed immediately. Haven't even mentioned communications, security etc. The list keeps going. Remember, there is strength in numbers but only join forces with those you absolutley can trust with your, and you loved ones, lives. I know I am most likely preching to the choir but, after reading a few posts here it appears as if there are many new to becoming prepared. But, good for the newbies because they at least realize the necessity. To them I say don't be overwhelmed. It is a large ask to prepare for the survival of your family but you do it just like you would eat an elephant, one bite at a time. Decide what you can afford to spend on a regular basis and do it religiously. You will be surprised how fast things will build. Also, ask questions. But be careful of those armchair Rambos, they live in a fantasy world. I am thankful to have found this forum and hope I can help as well as be helped. By the way, sorry so long winded. Just wanted to let you guys know a little of my personal philosophy on the preparedness lifestyle.