Preparedness is a term used to describe a philosophy and lifestyle in which an individual, often referred to as a survivalist or prepper, or group has made adequate provisions to furnish the necessities required to sustain life for the individual, family and/or community during an emergency situation.
These necessities required to sustain life can be grouped into general categories such as sustenance, shelter, transportation, communication, knowledge and safety, etc.
Individuals or groups involved in preparedness can be active members of society and community or seek geographic and personal/group isolation.
A common characteristic among many individuals involved in preparedness is the tenet of “personal responsibility”.
Groups such as Zombie Squad promote personal responsibility as well as the benefits of community and the value of volunteerism.
Early forms of preparedness were generally termed “survivalism” and often espoused a doctrine of geographic isolation and rare contact with mainstream society or community.
There is a general sense that the concept of survivalism has for many evolved into the concept of preparedness - being prepared to meet the variety of situations that may occur before, during and after an emergency situation.
Preparedness promotes the doctrine that there is more to “survival” than merely surviving. It encourages personal responsibility, a sense of community with other individuals and often leads to the creation of formal and informal groups.
TIME Magazine: The Importance of Being Prepared
US Government: Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed
US Government - Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Emergency Preparedness and You
US Government - National Archives: Emergency Preparedness