Survivalism is a lot like the military, in that we prepare for an event that is unknown in its nature (what could SHTF be ?), its occurrence (it may be tomorrow or in ten years), duration (it could be TEOTWAWKI or just a week-long nuisance) and intensity.
Of course the military has a list of potential enemies and risks (natural catastrophe etc.) all sorted out by probabilities. It has dedicated crews and gear. But every member of the armed forces, no matter its rank and specialty, knows the very basic core skills and procedures.
Let's face it, those we want to see survive The Event is our own family. Family members have at best listened politely to your survival plans for about fifteen minutes. They have next to no survival skills, and this is what the approach should be : a no-skills approach.
Therefore, one should not acquire or stockpile elaborate gizmos that require reading and practice to get it going, not even mentionning maintenance and repair. As an example, it is better to stockpile lots of small gas canisters to go with the portable camping stove rather than a large propane tank on the property, linked to an elaborate heater etc.
The no-skills approach means that your family would still be able to survive even if you died on the very first minute of The Event.
Everything must be as simple and idiot-proof as possible. AR-15s do not fit into this category, but break-open shotguns do. Cars do not fit in, but bicycles and walking shoes do. Procedures, like using an improvised dry toilet or always having somebody awake at night, should also be very simple to understand and to execute.
As far as possible, all items should be commonplace and follow the BIC approach ( http://bisonprepper.blogspot.fr/2016/09/bic-approach.html ). Most commonplace items are designed to be much more rugged, idiot-proof and easy to use than specialized gear.
Here is an illustration of this concept of no-skill preparation. I believe a 10-year old child could use this setup. This is to cover a wide-spectrum denial of service : no running water, no electricity, no city gas, no internet nor mobile phone – but a few nationwide radio stations.
– Use bath tub or fill food-grade plastic bags like Ziploc bags (not garbage bags if possible)
– Reroute water drains to collect rain water. (relatively inexpensive, to do before SHTF)
– boil it with the portable gas stove
Food : stockpile food that is routinely eaten at home, even if it's not really dietetic, like Mac&Cheese. Take food that is easy to cook on a portable gas stove (no particular stocks of flour, for instance), and some that doesn't need cooking (canned fruit). Normal people are not hardcore survivalists and will keep on cooking for a while.
Hygiene : it depends on the water situation in the first place. A “Protect & Survive” dry toilet is IMHO the one thing that absolutely needs to be experienced by the family before SHTF.
See it here : http://www.atomica.co.uk/main.htm (this booklet is good wide-spectrum information). Stockpile lots of toilet paper and small plastic bags (lots and lots). Ample stocks of soap (solid and/or liquid) and toilet paper are important.
Electricity : there are dynamo chargers (NOT the chinese crap) and simple solar chargers, to charge AA and AAA rechargeable batteries (and then good ones, and a lot of them). These are to be used to listen to the radio (for information) and for electrical light (in case something needs to be done precisely at night – candlelight is sufficient for avoiding to bump into things at night). Frontal LED lamps are preferred (leaves both hands free).
Energy : two portable gas stoves (one is for backup) and lots of small, inexpensive gas cartridges, in ziploc bags (to avoid rust). Boiled water in a pan radiates heat. People ought to be able to sleep in restricted space, like a 2-second pop-up tent (even inside the house), that a pan of hot water could heat sufficiently.
Weaponry : two double-barrelled break-open shotguns, preferably with external hammers. One is able to aim (and shoot) while the other gets reloaded. In order to avoid confusion and difficult decisionmaking (“rubber bullets ? Warning shots with blanks/bridshot ?”), only one type of cartidge is available (a mildly loaded buckshot), and there is nothing provisioned to reload it (it's already too complicated).
As always readers here will obsess about the firearms aspect (I love you) so I will have to clarify : I selected the shotguns because of their extreme simplicity (no-skill) and ruggedness (very forgiving). But on the other hand, if there is a gun in a household, all members of the household must have spent some hours at the range to learn the safety rules (at least) and how to use the weapons. So in this regard we could imagine that weapons which are one step higher in complexity, like bolt-action rifles or revolvers, also fit into this approach, although it would not be “zero-skill” anymore.
Medicine : A fully stocked first aid kit like the one used in the household, with a booklet.
No extra stuff : if you have extra stuff, your people might wonder why it is here and they will spend too much attention on it. It is better to have the cartridges in your trousers' pockets at all times than in spiffy tacticool combat vests that are always somewhere else when you need them. The diversity of items must be as small as possible, or one will lose oversight. (First-World armies : take note of this !)
One box per week : The real work for the only survivalist in the family (you) would be to evaluate how much consumables are used up in a week. This is actually real hard work, ideally you would have to live a complete week in a post-apocalyptic setting at home to determine that.
We can see how difficult this already is, in spite of the setup's very basic character, and so we get an idea how more elaborate items are difficult to include in the general preparation effort.