I can see it being a bit of an issue if we get a flood of such questions. However, I do think it is very valid type of question for this site.
The basic answer being be prepared. That said, there are at least two levels to this and so depends on the question itself.
One way to prepare is with financial instruments, i.e. savings account, cold hard cash, foreign currencies.
Another way, is the full-on crap hitting the fan situation. I.e. my plan includes stockpiling some food, boning up on my "survival" skills, boning up on my other skills, e.g. home repair, sewing, skills useful in a serious doom scenario.
I'm torn. I don't want to see a bunch of doom-and-gloom, buy-guns-and-ammo type questions. That said, I feel that the possible collapse of the financial system, however remote, is an appropriate topic for a finance site. Let's not forget that financial panics were a regular thing before the establishment of the Federal Reserve.
Disclaimer: I personally believe that financial collapse is a real possibility, I'm just not sure there is much to say about it besides be prepared.
With this in mind, I have been thinking that one question could serve as the canonical Q&A for this topic. As C. Ross puts it, there isn't much to be said other than "be prepared."
Of course, there are several key financial ideas that go into being prepared:
- Inflation may render cash/money next to worthless.
- Even that gold held for you in a vault somewhere may be next to worthless if you cannot actually get access to it. Not to mention that in a worst case scenario, who will really care about shiny baubles (at least in the immediate term)?
- Bartering (of goods and services) will likely be king for the immediate term, in a worst case scenario. Even in a less than doom-and-gloom scenario, bartering may become important.
Let's not forget that preparing for "Oh, crap!" scenarios is a part of financial planning. Like it or not, finance is a key part of life. In the absence of good financial systems, human productivity, innovation and general quality of life can seriously suffer.
(Ultimately, that is why I like finance. In reality, it is not just about numbers in a spreadsheet. It truly is a multidisciplinary, human-centric pursuit.)