This is a hard question
First I don't think another world war will break out. The world economies are too interconnected.
But if a world war were to break out, how it would affect my family is my oldest son would likely be drafted.
How it would affect the average American is - minimally. Just like the wars in Iraq twice and Afghanistan families that were affected or would be are military families. The average American would just continue their day to day social media escape.
Challenges at home would be war protests. Protests against the government for enacting certain wartime laws and restrictions.
Shortages would depend on how long the war took to fight. In a war between big powers like China Russia and us, it would last awhile and food and fuel shortages would likely happen. But if it were to be in a smaller region like Iran or N. Korea it would be a brief war followed by similar strategies of occupation like we've already seen and shortages would be minimal.
Haven't thought of preparing for a world war. If it happens it happens and a way to survive would be available. (Already had to survive the financial meltdown and recession that followed so what happens, happens, and we'll find a way to get through it)
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