When unexpected disasters happen, people who are even a little prepared are much better off than those who have taken their dependence on outside resources for granted. When you imagine the security of not having to worry about going to the store for even a few weeks, a comprehensive storage system begins to make sense.Considering these issues, the "information age" appears more like a backward regression to me.
I do love electricity and the ability to flip a switch and have my "servants" (major appliances) wash my clothes and dishes! But I think it's wise to acquire knowledge on how to accomplish household tasks without modern conveniences if need be. If I ever get my hands on a wash tub and clothes line, I'm going to declare Pioneer Week at our house and have a ball doing the wash and hanging it on the line with my kids on a warm summer day.
I canned for the first time in my life last month. I do not currently own a canner, (though I hope to get one in the future) but I didn't let that stop me. I just used kitchen tongs, a great big pot and some pint mason jars and got to work. It went really well and I canned 5 pints of blueberry jam. My 12 yr old son even helped me and learned a lot in the process. It must be wonderful to be taught this kind of thing by a loving grandmother, mother or aunt. But for those of us who don't have such privileges, there are tutorials and books.
If you have the kind of skills that are rapidly becoming "extinct" in our society, I encourage you to pass them on. Invite groups to your home and show them how it's done. We don't have to capitalize on everything. Skills like these are probably availabe through different community venues, but when a family is already struggling in this economy, why not donate your time and skills to those in need? Local homeschool groups are a ready and willing recipient of such offers.Such genorosity is almost unheard of. But it's a seed that will produce a harvest of self sufficiency and bless generations to come.