The first part of being prepared is figuring out what it is you need to be prepared for.
For some people, disaster preparedness is more an issue of addressing their fears than it is about preparing for a threat that they may actually face. People are afraid of various things; an asteroid striking the Earth, “Mad Max” type societal breakdowns and Y2K style disasters are amongst some of the more cinematic “zombie apocalypse” fears that people worry about. In the meantime it seems that a large number of these people don’t think twice about the all too real times that their power went out for a number of days in a bad snow storm, the tornado that destroyed the development across town last year or the time their car broke down on an isolated road in freezing temperatures.
While being prepared for major disasters is good advice, I think that it’s equally important to be prepared for the threats that your locale and lifestyle bring with them. If you live in New Orleans, a City on the coast below sea level, then you should be thinking about what you will do during a flood. If ice storms are known to knock out power in your area on occasion, your preparation is going to be different than someone from the “Big Easy”.
Your hobbies also come with a cost. If you are a camper/hiker/climber who frequently packs into a wilderness area far from civilization, your risks are different from someone who does not and requires different preparation, gear and skills.
Preparedness comes with a price tag. Supplies and equipment come at a cost. Before you invest any time or money take serious stock of what risks you face, what you already have, what you need, and your willingness/ability to live with the decisions you make.