Preparedness is a set of research-based actions taken as precautionary measures in the face of potential disasters. It is an important quality for achieving goals and for avoiding and mitigating negative outcomes. The objective is to combine resources, experience and knowledge to provide personalized development services in disaster risk reduction to countries at risk of disasters, including emergency response preparedness capacity. Preparedness is an essential part of emergency management and is especially valued in areas such as sports and military science. Emergency preparedness focuses on improving disaster response once they have occurred, but the international community has other tools to work on disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience.
In the United States, before Hurricane Katrina, preparedness was largely considered the responsibility of first responders and other emergency services. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), individuals, families, businesses, religious and community groups, profitable groups, schools and academia, the media, and all levels of government must play an active role in preparedness efforts. Preparedness belongs to a broader group of activities designed to reduce the likelihood and impact of disasters on people's lives.