Don’t think you are to late to get ready and get prepared you are not to late! I know we all tend to focus on food but if you can buy a bottle of bleach a bunch of coffee filters an have a way of boiling water you should be mostly safe for water. But you have tap water so why not save your self time and energy by storing some water? Do you buy soda? Buy it in 2-3 litter bottles and instead of throwing the bottles away simply clean them and store tap water. The bottles can take up a little bit of floor space but the are relativly light and the work fine. I like lemon-lime soda so I have green litter bottles if you stash them under the bed or in a closet away from light you should have no problems with the water being good for years, though you may want a couple of pitchers on hand to re-oxgenate the water as it will taste a little flat. Yes, I tested this and all my water was fine up to water stored 2 years. Do not use milk jugs as the plastic is thin and tends to break down.
Food basics bought in bulk are still a good buy. Rice and flour are still about the same as they were on my $125.00 shopping list though beans and sugar are quite a bit higher. In 25 to 50 pound bags flour and rice can be had for less than 50 cents per pound though beans have jumped to 75 cents to a dollar plus per pound even in bulk. You must learn to make food from scratch to get the most bang for your buck. It’s usually takes time to prepare but you can always do something else while your bread is rising or your beans are soaking. As long as you think ahead they can be real darned easy to make and if you forget about starting your dinner in the AM a pressure cooker can will speed up the cooking process.
Growing a garden will not provide all your food for most folks but it can supplement your stored food and give you vitamins not in your basic survival diet. Getting a dehydrator, a hot bath canner and a pressure canner plus jars will let you buy low when veggies are the cheapest and preserve them till winter when veggies are the most expensive. I know things will be tough and things will not be the same. I choose not to suffer unnecessarily or more than is needed if I simply buy a few thing and know how to use those tools.
Buy books, take classes and download info you need. Learn the theory and put it into practice and learn what works for you. You can have the greatest BOB (bug out bag) in the world, but if it’s so damn heavy you can’t lift it or you can’t walk a mile with it on your back you are screwed. How would you move 5-10 miles a day without a car? got a bike, a wagon. Kids and pets what about them and what they need and what they are capable of doing daily. Practice and practice some more even if it is simply you flipping the main breaker for the house or putting the lights and electronics off limits for a day or two over the weekend. Camp out in the back yard just using your BOBs. Sure if it get’s nasty you can run inside and do up a list of the things you need or want. It’s not about suffering to meet an arbitrary goal. It’s about learning how best to survive and making the best plan you can and using your resources wisely. Every one can get together and say what worked and what didn’t. Dad the tent leaks, or honey if I don’t see a good cup of coffee, I’m going to kill something. Or Bears and mountain lions will attack if we don’t have a flashlight to scare it away. What do you mean no TV, texting, facebook or electronics for 24 hours? You may want to practice during a Holiday as your kids will probably inform everyone that the parents are so weird and go into detail. I’m out in the open but if you are concerned about security and keeping stuff quiet make sure the whole family is on the same page as you.
I don’t think it was just Signal officers in the Army but it seemed being miserable tend to equate to good training in the Army. I’ve been miserable and have no desire to practice being miserable as a civilian. Misery will come on it’s own and I have no desire to seek her out. A few dollars spent for a good thermos and a dollar spent on a water jug that will keep 1 gallon of hot water overnight is worth the world to me. I will be doing a no tap water, no hot water tank test starting 5 March for 5 days. I wanted to test my porta potties but I don’t trust March so the I’ll just flush using my stored water. I want my RV tanks and porta-potties ready in case the PTBs don’t fix all the problems in the EU, Iran, Syria and the economy.
It’s not a problem it’s only an opportunity to see how ready you are and what you need to do next….