AllOutdoor.com had a very good article recently titled 'Venezuela, and why Gold and Barter Items are Terrible Preps'. Here's a brief excerpt.
People are shooting each other in the streets over food–not ammo, cigarettes, liquor, gold coins, silver coins, or any of the other crap that preppers love to stockpile “for barter when TSHTF.” That’s right, it turns out that good old-fashioned food is the only thing that you can actually eat in a collapse, and as worthless as the Venezuelan bolivar is right now, “sound money” is pretty much totally absent from all the discussions I’ve read of what the average Venezuelan is desperately worried about scoring when he wakes up every morning.
. . .
In a collapse, food is scarce and people are hungry. Nobody is going to trade you a box of .357 or a Gold Eagle for a chicken, because unlike the latter two things, chickens are edible, and the edible stuff takes priority.
. . .
As the Venezuelan collapse amply illustrates, you need to have your priorities straight, and a dependable source of calories should be at the very top of the list. Don’t get suckered into wasting money, time, and space on stuff you can’t consume but that you think someone will trade you a bit of their food for, because you’re certain to be gravely disappointed.
There's more at the link.
That's a very important point. We need to prioritize our emergency supplies; and right at the top of the list, before just about anything else, should be an emergency food supply for a realistic period. 'Realistic' will vary depending on our circumstances, of course:
- If you're living in an area prone to natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, whatever) you're likely to need emergency food supplies more, and more often, than someone in a quieter, less disaster-prone region.
- If your budget is very limited, your 'realistic' emergency food supply will be a lot smaller than someone with extra money to spend on it.
- If you're preparing for yourself alone, or for a couple, it's a lot easier (and cheaper) to build up reserves than it would be for a family of six.