Well - I see how you think Matthew - very practical. Personally, I think silver is better than gold. And in New Zealand a fishing rod and dingy will probably be better than a gun. It's a fairly safe place to be and I shall be back there after this latest stint in cold Nippon.
Reading up on what is going on - if the banks start to fail (51 small ones have failed in the USA in 2012 thus far) enmasse, the cash in your bank will either not exist, or will become unavailable even though they say it is guranteed since the banks will close - then when they reopen they may limit your withdrawals. This is not insignificant waffle - it has been playing out in Greece, Spain, elsewhere (but is kept out of the mainstream news).
I'm trying to be practical, but of course execution is always a bit different than planning. I had the benefit of knowing two of my great grandmothers who lived during the Great Depression. I hope for the best but try to plan for the worst. I don't want to suggest that investment in the various money systems is too dangerous (by the way, what do you like about silver compared to gold?). I've thought about cashing out my few stocks, but they were an inheritance so I figure it's money I never exactly earned to begin with and so decided to "let it ride," in the interest of maintaining diversity of my meager assets.
I do worry a little about the domino effect and recently I've been seeing a lot of ads on the internet (go figure) foretelling the coming stockmarket collapse. I don't know how seriously it's being taken, but I do know that fear spreads like wildfire and believe mass-hysteria isn't as far removed as many of us would like to think...sometimes the only thing to fear is fear itself, but that doesn't stop people from rash actions. So I'm just trying to track as many possible trends as I can. I'm in Spokane, Wa. right now (somewhat different than my home area near Seattle) and have seen a few US flags flying upside down in windows; some folks are itching for a problem. Hopefully Europe's situation will improve soon or some other hopeful sign will abate people's fears.
Thanks for the chance to think about this stuff a bit more (it never hurts to consider these things)! I've enjoyed reading this thread.