History is a magnificent tool for understanding the present but it is also great at foretelling the future. If there is one thing you can accurately say about history it is that it will repeat. Peace and war, feast and famine, prosperity and depression, all cycle as random eddies in the river of time . Thus it is prudent to consider that a desperate situation is not only possible but, if we believe history, quite likely. This realization mandates developing a mentality and a plan that prepares us for the ability to simply survive.
What happens if your community has five fire trucks and your house becomes the sixth fire burning? Unless you are willing to fight the fire you are just plan out of luck.
So self sufficiency is the way we must learn to think in order to survive.
Perhaps you have seen the movie "Contagion" where a really bad and untreatable virus spreads throughout the world. Much of what is enacted in the movie is, in fact, how governments would handle such a situation. Schools and businesses would be simply closed and you might even find yourself restricted to your own residence. This would put us at the mercy of government emergency services. What happens when the governments' survival resources run out or are stretched beyond the limit of their capabilities? Desperate people do desperate things. If conditions deteriorate to this point, we may need to "get out of Dodge", so to speak.
Here is where us campers have a decided advantage over the standard population. In a minimal sense we have to configure for survival every time we just go camping. Whether you are setting up for a weekend trip or a two week vacation you will have had to addressed these basic survival needs:
Thus all you have to do is add a food and water stash to your basic camping equipment inventory and you have the core of a survival plan put together.
Choose a couple of good spots to locate your survival camp away from metropolitan areas as these places will likely be chaotic. Again, desperate people do desperate things so get away from the masses.
Plan where your family and selected friends will be when things start falling apart. They can meet you there where you can pool resources and efforts. The wolf pack mentality is very useful when in the survival mode.
Setup your survival base camp in familiar out of the way spot near water ( have a purifier) and natural food sources.
Having the means, knowledge and ability to protect yourself and your loved ones may be essential to your collective survival.
In the mean time:
I know it's ugly to think about but remember what history has taught us about the dark side of human nature.
These are a great place to start developing an appropriate survival mentality and even acquire some food or equipment.
nitro-pak.com - Preparedness checklist ideas. Supplies
The 72 hour kit - and food storage ideas
Homeland security - 30 tips for emergency preparedness
Beprepared.com - Emergency checklist and a source for food and supplies.
Equipped.com - In depth discussion about the 72 hour plan.