This thread was interesting.
My daughter was born a few weeks ago. I often think of the world she will grow up in and the challenges that await her (while sitting up till the wee hours of the mornings). My wife and I have given her a blank canvas for her to create her life path. It is not for me to tell her what she should do or why. That being said, I would ask five things of her:
1 To be self aware and have real confidence in her inner strengths
2 To be capable & self sufficient
3 To take responsiblity for her own happiness
4 To be adaptable to change
5 To act decisively on matters that count
But we all ask, how could this be possible in the coming hard times? What is required is that she somehow survive and ride out the hard few years directly after the poo hits the fan. This I believe will be contingent on her banding together with a small group of tight knit people, each of which can be depended on in a storm. This tight knit group could either be part of a larger group of people who tend their own survival or
are adaptable enough to keep moving.
In the short term, for me:
Get out of debt: disconnect from the rat race and be happy about it. In the great depression, families were turfed out of their homes because they couldn't meet their morgages and lived in their cars.
Self educate myself and the people who I will depend on when the time comes in all the usefull
areas of knowledge.
Emergency protocols (first aid, fire fighting and the like)
Woodwork and metal work (under new rules where you can't just buy what you need. Learn to improvise.
Learn to fix and repair things like generators.
Learn basic electonics.
Learn how building systems work
Learn black smithing
Learn as much IT and computer tech as possible.
Learn to garden. Permaculture and companion planting. Food to eat and other useful plants to live off.
Learn landscaping, pasture management and drainage for design purposes.
Learn holistic natural remedies from herbs.
Learn about horses and livestock.
Learn archery and martial arts (guns too if you can)
Study history and human responses and learn from them
Invest in equipment, tools and food stuffs that will empower me and my family to live more effectively that will be hard to come by in the times to come (keep as much of this hidden as possible, tell no one).
Replace as many of the white goods (fridges washing machines, etc) as possible with good quality units. While things are still cheap. Inculde several good quality radios.
A functional workshop that is kitted for wood and steel
Tools to fix a wide range of things from generators to power cells (as many that don't require power as possible).
A reserviour of nails, nuts and bolts, glue (all the small bits that make things possible to make).
Equipment to recycle and shape metal products from scrap
Tools to set up and maintain a big permaculture garden
Sewing machines & overlockers to make and repair clothes
Mutiple medic kits of high calibre with a reserve of pharmicuticals and antibotics
Camping gear, several sets
A kick arse library
Water tanks and plumbing for the house (even a rental where they can be moved)
Solar panels that can be moved if necessary
Clothes and shoes (good quality)
Stuff to be used for barter (cigarettes, alchohol, etc)
A bug out kit ready to go if necessary
Security measures that are not obvious but are strong
Remember at all times, it is what is between my ears that will make the diference when TSHTF. Be mentally prepared to leave it all behind if necessary. Don't get too attached to things that ultimately don't matter. The ability to problem solve in the face of adversity is what is required here. Improvise. Remeber what is most important and not lose sight of it.
Get in there and do stuff that builds communities in context of the new world. A community is much stronger if it can be built, than a mobile indiviual. This is keeping the end game in sight though where you don't want a Mad Max senario to happen or if it does, it doesn't last indefinitely.
This all takes planning and money. The mental ability to adapt I believe is the most important point of all. If you have that, then the rest will kind take care of itself.