Patriots: Surviving the comming collapse by J.W. Rawles
I've started reading this book based on your recommendation. I've read only the first few chapters and have surrendered to the fact that I will be zombie meat. I can't afford land in Idaho, treat a gunshot wound, rebuild an automobile ground up, or grow my own food. I do promise however, to build up an enormous stash of canned food and guns. This will benefit the rest of you such that when I am lying in a pile of my own excrement due to the power grid going down, my goods will make easy pickings for those of you that are as well prepared as the folks described in Rawles' book. Being a cityboy does have a downside.
Baby steps here. try just buying an extra can or 2 of something everytime you grocery shop - buy the time you have even one month of canned food and several 5-gallon water containers saved up you will be well prepared for any short-run disaster ad will not have to be a refugee or have to surrender your guns to big brother for food rations ... (i.e hurricane katrina)
Rawles book is Fiction ...I think the likelyhood of any thing more than a short term disaster is highly unlikely anway. A "dark ages", complete break down in the financial order, etc or nuclear winter scenario will be tough to survive for even the well prepared. I think they key here is the survival & self reliance mindset. Food security (where is my next meal comming from?)is also a major problem in the 3rd world - so I think food is a good place to start and tangible.
Don't despair ... no one (including Rawles) is prepared as they would like. I recommended the book because I thought it was more entertaining to read than some of the survival references out there.
Crisis Preparedness by Jack A. Spigarelli is another great book - systematic & less "fiction" There is substance to creating a plan and biting off managable sized pieces in this book.
Sure, if I hit the big time I will have a fully stocked compound with fallout shelter ... but that is not a economic reality for most of us...