There are a lot of possible emergencies you might face in your life, from personal to local to wide-spread and long lasting. Preparing for even a couple likely scenarios can seem daunting and confusing. In reality, there are only a few simple steps to help you become more ready and able to face any problem which may arise. In no particular order they are:
Get out of debt
This isn't going to be quick, nor easy, but will help you be ready for an emergency in quite a few ways. Having less debt can eliminate several economic or financial calamities which might otherwise impact you. It will enable you to have and spend more money on preparing for other disasters. It will lower your stress level in your every day life, let alone when things get tough. Start this now and take it one step at a time until you are able to live with minor or no debt.
Gain an education
Expanding your mind and gaining experience doesn't have to be expensive. Many times there are local classes, events at the local library, or even free classes through community colleges if you're not taking it for college credit. Of course, there are also books, videos, and mentoring or collaboration which can be had for little to no cost. If you are ready to spend some money you can find quality training on a wide variety of emergency preparedness topics, from gardening to first aid to firearms. The great thing is that skills take up no space, weigh nothing, and you can carry them with you for the rest of your life no matter where you go or what you face. And if you have more disposable income, you can hire a personal trainer or consultant to help you with specific topics.
Start building up supplies
This is what many people think of when they think of preparing for an emergency. But once again, it doesn't have to be expensive. You can start storing water and food for pennies (or even free in some cases). Don't forget to set aside personal medication, toiletries, documents, clothing and bedding, and other necessities which may be utilized in a wide variety of disasters.
Develop a plan
Some people like doing this at the start, others may approach it as they gain more knowledge and experience, or have the capitol to spend on resources or consultants to help them with it. Once again, it can be done for little to no cost at the start. Something as simple as putting all your important documents in one place and writing down all your important addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers may take an hour one weekend, and after a few more hours you can have a binder with a full-fledged emergency operation plan (EOP) for the entire family.
While it can sometimes be overwhelming or bewildering when you approach the subject of emergency planning and preparedness, it can really be broken down into some very simple steps. None of the steps listed above are one-and-done; they are all continuous and ongoing, but they are relatively easy to break down into simple categories.
Ultimately, the most important part of preparedness is that you start somewhere. You can make changes as you see fit down the road or realize something's not working for you, but complacency and procrastination are two of the worst enemies to being ready for an emergency.