In this post, I am going to outline my basic preparedness philosophy. This will be the guide which I am going to weigh all preparedness decisions against. Keep in mind this is only a first draft, I reserve the right to change or add to any part of the basic philosophy below.
Basic preparedness philosophy is made up of prevention, planning to plan (or risk assessment), planning, execution of plans, testing of plans, and upkeep of plans.
Prevention - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of preparedness"
If you can prevent the disaster, you will never have to use the equipment, supplies, and plans that you have carefully crafted. I know this step seems like it takes out all the fun of preparing, but preparing is not fun. Preparing is a responsibility that you have to yourself and to you family.
For example, you can lessen the chance of your car breaking down if you follow regularly planned maintenance. You can prevent running out of gas, if you always fill up at a quarter of a tank. You can avoid becoming a crime victim, if you avoid crime ridden areas. In some cases, people can overcome health problems by choosing a healthy lifestyle. This will remove the need for pharmaceuticals, which would remove the possibility of a future shortage during a disturbance.
You can look both ways when you pull out into the street, and that could lessen the possibility of having to use your life insurance. You can have eye surgery which can remove your dependence on contacts or glasses. You can avoid nature disasters, by choosing a places to live that has a low frequency of certain natural disasters.
Different types of prevention are, but are not limited to, maintenance, prevention by avoidance, and fixing current problems. If thing are barely running now, they will fail under stress, which will most likely be the time you need it the most.
NOTE: Prevention does not remove the need to prepare, it just lessens the chance of you having to use your preparations.