In order to prepare for the Great Depression of 2008, we need to make sure we are well supplied. First, stock up on bindles. It's important that the stick be made of a durable material such as oak. Resist the temptation to use a Swiffer handle and instead choose an industrial grade mop handle. A carbon fiber ski pole will work well also, and you can find one easily behind the former site of Princeton Ski Shop.
The material for the bindle is also important. Choose something sturdy yet flexible that will hold your belongings but not fall apart when you're riding the rails. You want it to be resistant to potential damage from the yard bull who will eventually find your hiding spot and chase you with a baseball bat with a nail through it.
Pack your bindle carefully and thoughtfully. Essentials include a can opener for cans of beans and Vienna Sausage, extra rags for patching your shoes (duct tape works well too), cigarettes for trading, a small knife for eating with and also protection, and a harmonica. Don't forget to sew your gold and diamonds into the hems of your clothing. Stock up on clothespins for laundry day. Your formerly white shirts will soon become gray, and can be hung up on a line, or draped over a picket fence.
The late Tom Gaits said that the only things you need in a Great Depression are guns, gas and pain killers. These can be substituted for the bindle if you are able to gather them easily.
One thing to be on the lookout for in a Great Depression are tumbleweeds. These can come along without notice and cause a great deal of coughing when the dust in their wake gets into your lungs. You will also notice the women will be wearing tattered shawls and the men bowlers. The bowler provides protection from the sun while doing yard work as well as scoopin' water from the creek. All the scenery will turn black and white and the sun will flicker, creating a strobe effect.
Your days will be spent waiting on line at the soup kitchen while holding a cup. It is recommended that you bring your own cup, preferably metal so that it can serve double duty when you beg for pennies or rattle it on the jailhouse bars.
Finding a place to sleep will be very important. You can sleep in the back of an abandoned SUV or in a foreclosed home. If you are unable to find one, try knocking on doors until you find a gentle soul willing to trade a song for a bowl of soup. Don't forget to leave a mark on the tree outside the house to let other hobos know that a kind person lives there.
These tips should help you survive until the next Great Bubble, at which time you will be able to live the American Dream, reinvent yourself and write a screenplay about your exploits.