Preparedness is the management of personal, home and business practices that involve being ready for specific or unexpected emergencies, disasters, events or other situations. Preparedness involves minimizing risk (Risk Management) and minimizing actual damage when unavoidable situations occur (Disaster Recovery). Preparedness in a personal and family domain involves storage of water, food and supplies that might be used if prolonged interruption of products and services would occur after a crisis event.

Preparedness also involves many other possibilities or more extreme situations (Survivalism), such as having an evacuation plan, developing skills to prepare food, hunting, fishing, cultivating crops, living in low population areas to avoid fighting or competition of limited resources, and self-defense (including weapons).

Business preparedness often involves communications with customers and emergency plans (Business Continuity Plan) with internal resources and vendors, such as emergency electric power to restore refrigeration at a grocery store when prolonged power interruption occurs after severe weather.

Many specific preparedness plans exist, such as Earthquake Preparedness, Hurricane Preparedness, Tornado Preparedness, Epidemic Infection Preparedness, and Civil Defense.