If one were to look at Mama Donna and I and compare us to some 30’ish couple in an exclusive gated subdivision, who are a GS whatever federal government paper-shuffler and a mid-level lawyer in a big firm we’d look pretty puny. We old, we’re disabled and we’re broke.
But in a post-survival environment, we’d be more than welcome because of my knowledge as a former biochemical technician ( I can make various forms of alcohol, soap, chloroform and other items.), plus my being a veteran ( Infantry, small arms specialist, demolitions man) and Mama Donna can bake and cook from scratch along with crocheting and gardening. The professional pair’s value will be not so much.
This is NOT to insult in any way the fine preppers out there who do practice in these professions. I recommend, however, that you develop a “prepper” hobby if you don’t have one already that will be of value in your own survival plans. Find something you can enjoy now that will have a practical value later if needed.
There are, of course, the obvious skills to have as hobbies, such as target shooting, archery, hunting, and trapping. Next up is gardening, drying, jerky making, and canning. After that the hobby can be a “two-fer”, that is something that is for today and also helps you for your prepping such as going to yard sales.
You may also be into electronics, be it the basic level like myself, or advanced enough to set up an entire power grid for your safe haven. Ham radio and other forms of communication can be an asset. I think I still remember how to rig a basic telegraph set up from some pieces of metal and a couple of batteries.
First Aid is a biggie. Take the Red Cross approved course if you can. If not, at least get familiar with the basics. Be careful, however! This is an area when a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing!
There is brewing, wine making and alcohol distilling in general. The value in trade goods for wine and beer will be high and the alcohol itself can be for medical or fuel uses. Don’t forget candle and soap making. There will be animal fats and wood ash left over in a post-fallen world. Learn now how to turn them into soap.
Add to this any weaving, crocheting, or sewing, especially by hand. Also, think of herb gardening and knowing the medical uses of the herbs, and other natural remedies (such as using white willow bark for natural “aspirin”) and foraging, that is practicing now on finding eatable and otherwise useable wild plants (cattails for example).
Also, as much as I know there are some who go with the old line from Shakespeare that went “the first thing we do is to kill all the lawyers”, lawyers and managers of good quality and clear thinking will be in need in the second phase of recovery of your area, and the country. As the father told his son in an old post-nuclear war movie,” The law will be back, I just want us alive to see it.” A society without laws will not stand long.
You must also keep in mind that if you go to another area, whether or not they will let you stay there MAY depend on your “skill set”. Be ready to display your value to them.