Welcome Forager! Three quick thoughts to offer that have helped me: 1. It’s way too easy to get overwhelmed with all the possible needs as you look into the future. I worked gradually from “If the bananas totally hit the high speed fan and make a big mess, what am I likely to need in the next two hours?” up through “If the bananas totally hit the high speed fan and make a big mess, what am I likely to need in the next year?” Small victories along the way are encouraging. 2. Know yourself before purchasing “stuff”. I don’t buy the “next thing” on my “want list” until the last thing I bought is paid for, and I am VERY trained at using said thing the right way. It’s just as hikermore and Redneck have pointed out, skills are what keep you alive and safe. Gear without skill is useless. And that is dangerous when the bananas hit the fan. If you love to rotate food to keep your pantry fresh, canned and glass jar preserved food will probably be your thing. Me, I’m not a “rotator”, and thus 20 year shelf life food and water make more sense. Planning will help keep preparedness a passion and fun, instead of drudgery. 3. Test EVERYTHING and look ahead ALWAYS. Store food that you know you can eat and like and be nourished by. Living off grape flavored soft drinks for three weeks does not work, no matter how much you like grape flavored soft drinks. Stuff (and pets) you can easily lift now may be way too heavy to handle in 5 – 10 years. I moved from 20 liter water storage containers last year to a 10 liter version of the same container because they are WAY EASIER for me heave into the cars when the county sheriff just told us to beat feet out of here because wild fire threatens our home. And finally, let me offer that you have come to the right place. This site is FULL of good information, all put in place by GREAT people. I learned LOTS by just reading, and gained lots of encouragement along the way.