Yes, I am indeed one of the "prepper" weirdos that have been popping up all over the place lately. I'd like to think I'm not some band-wagon jumper as preparedness has been part of my make-up for a long time - once a Boy Scout, always a Boy Scout, I guess... However, it's really in the last couple years that I started to take it seriously and expand on what I thought it was to Be Prepared.
I'm not going to beat this dead horse and go into detail about what you should do to prepare yourself and you family for an untoward event - there is more then enough of that on the web already. 10 seconds on Google or Yahoo search will find you a month's worth of reading on the subject. All I'm saying here is get off your duff and do something. Anything. Start small and add a little at a time. You'll be surprised how quickly it adds up.
The reason I bring this up now is because it's the time of year I go through what I have stored, check expiration dates and inventory new stuff I've added over the year. This is very important - you certainly don't want to be depending on foods you stored that have since expired. Rotate your stock, store what you eat and eat what you store.
I'm not nearly as prepared as I'd like to be, but I'm a lot better off than I was just 2 years ago, simply going one small step at a time. I have very little "disposable" income but have managed to put up quite a bit, just $5 - $10 at a time. Even if $5 a week is too much to put aside (some of you may be laughing, but I've been there - sometimes five bucks seems like a small fortune) spend $1 and put up a gallon of bottled water. Just one for now, and everytime you have an extra $1 grab another until you have 6 gallons per person for your household. Why 6 gallons? That's the BARE MINIMUM recommended by those in the know - 2 gallons per person/per day for 3 days. Of course the more the better, but at least 6 gallons per person to start.
Get your water first. EVERYTHING else is less important. Not unneccessary mind you, just less important. Three days without water and you're done. Going that long without food would suck, but it won't kill you.
Unfortunately, prepping for an emergency isn't something that's ever "done". No matter how well set you think you are, you can bet someone will find the holes in your plan. There are just too many variables. But if nothing else, get your basics in order. Water, food, shelter. Sure a generator and an arsenal of combat-grade weapons, a dedicated "Bug-out Vehicle" (BOV) and a fully stocked bomb-proof shelter would be great, but being realistic just having food and water and not needing to rely on the .gov to come to your aid in an emergency puts you miles ahead of the average American sloth.
I don't know about you, but I'll gladly give up some closet and cupboard space for preps rather than end up standing in some FEMA line for a handout come-what-may. I suggest you do the same. I'm not going to go all doom & gloom here, I'm not saying the sky is falling. But you would have to have been living under a rock for the last year if you haven't noticed that some very strange s**t has been going on. Earthquakes, volcanos, wild fires, floods, crop failures, uprisings, etc. etc. It may not happen to you, but then again it might.
Don't live in fear, prepare yourself and your family. Don't say I didn't warn ya!