Things are still moving along. The financial system is still creaking down the road. The stores still have food on the shelves. The gas stations are open and pumping fuel. Mutant Zombie Bikers aren't roaming the landscape.
Why change behaviors?
If you've taken no preparations to a more self sufficient lifestyle, time is running out. Or is it? Maybe this whole patched together web of economy, energy, food and public safety will keep lurching along. Many reasonable people expect things to unravel sooner or later. It could be a complete breakdown of civilization, or it could be a more regional event like a hurricane or earthquake.
If you've been good Boy Scouts and taken "be prepared" seriously, you've made some precautions. I'm living like the collapse has already happened. For me, it might have. I just don't have confirmation yet.
Financially, there have been some setbacks. What little emergency funds I had have been spent on an emergency. Glad I had it, but it's gone now. My wife hasn't worked in over a year due to health issues. She's applied for Social Security. By all rights she could get some money from the system. When and will it be worth anything are other matters. I'm trying to live like we won't ever get that money.
As for energy, this looks like the last winter we'll be burning oil. Wood is local, sometimes as local as those trees near the garden. By summer I expect to be off the grid completely. My vehicles run on waste vegetable oil, but I'm thinking about life without vehicles. How can I do that if I have to?
We are eating fine. However, it's not the way most people eat. Last night we had some moose steaks. This morning I ground wheat berries and baked bread. My lovely wife has started seeds for an expanded garden program. I'm cutting some trees down to let in more sunlight on garden space. (I love it when food and energy plans work together.)
As for the breakdown in public safety? I keep my eyes open and my powder dry. I am licensed to carry a concealed handgun, so that's a precaution taken care of.
Is all this necessary? Strictly speaking, no. Do I want things to fall apart? Hell no! The point is, I'm living well right now. I'm happy and having a lot of fun with this whole self sufficiency thing. Sure, it takes effort to do all that I do, but it saves money today. That's money I didn't have to leave the house to work at a job -a job where you have to pay taxes on that money.
Then I have the comfort of knowing we are prepared. It's like insurance, but insurance that pays you every day.