In short term, forget about building a forge and swordsmithing, takes way too much time and resources that could spend elsewhere, unless you're planning to prep and stockpile materials before hand. Running a forge means you have to have access to steady supply of charcoal/coal, and unless you live in a forest or near a mine, is gonna be real hard to come by. Then you're gonna need an anvil, tongs, metal cutting shears, about a half dozen different hammers, forming tools, etc... it be less headache to just BUY a pre-fabricated sword or machete (14 bucks for one at Home Hardware).
In an anarchic situation, you'll want something that you can make as soon as possible. Something as simple as a shovel with a sharpened edge works nicely. You'll want a main weapon with long reach and decent damage (preferably something that you can thrust and slash with), and a secondary weapon that is compact and concealable like a box cutter or ice pick. The best weapon is one that isn't difficult/hazardous to use and withstands repeated use, hence simple and sturdy. Your everyday mop handle (with mop sawed off of course) is surprisingly well suited for mounting makeshift spearheads and poleaxes.
A good range weapon option is the PVC bow, by Backyard Bowyer. Search it up on youtube on instructions to build. A 1 inch diameter PVC pipe thats properly tapered, and strung with polypropylene string (min 130 lb working strength, 2 dollars at the dollar store) can be turned into a 40-50 pound bow that's deadly with the right practice. People have taken down deer with these bows. If you're crafty, you can even make PVC limps for a crossbow. I made a 58 inch long PVC survival bow that draws about 45 pounds at 30", with an arrow rest made from nothing more than duct tape. I fashioned arrows from poplar dowels from the local hardware store, duct tape arrow fins, and arrowheads fashioned from scrap steel.