4. SET ASIDE SOME ITEMS FOR BARTERINGTake stock of items around your home that could be valuable to others in an emergency situation. These can include goods like food, water and medicine, and also liquor, coffee, chocolate, candles and batteries. In the aftermath of a severe storm, you may be able to barter for necessary goods and services. 5. BUY SUPPLIES NOW, OR PAY A LOT MORE LATER Ask anyone in the aftermath of a hurricane how much a bottle of water or a gallon of gas cost. Disasters drive demand and prices for critical goods higher. So the best way to save money is to prepare well in advance, but gradually. Scatigna sees purchasing supplies like a filter to purify water as an investment, particularly at a time when savings accounts are earning little or no interest. He also recommends buying extra cans of food each trip to the grocery store. "Converting assets that will do nothing for you in a super crisis into real assets that will sustain you is the smartest thing people can do with their money if they believe that the future is going to be volatile," Scatigna says. 6. KEEP END-OF-THE-WORLD CONCERNS IN PERSPECTIVE Perhaps the best way to be prepared for the worst is to remain grounded about end-of-the-world scenarios. The biggest disaster many are likely to face would be the loss of a job. And many workers who fear the automatic government spending cuts from the fiscal cliff may feel their anxiety rising. So evaluate your savings and have your records in order. If the time comes, you'll be able to determine which expenses you can cut quickly. And be wary of locking up too much of your money in illiquid investments if you're concerned about your job.