What is the Finite Pool of Worry?
Just as it sounds, humans have only a given capacity to worry. Current circumstances, along with our biases, could easily push "getting prepared" far down on our list of worries. This, of course, quickly reverses once there's a threat of an emergency.
Columbia University's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) considers the finite pool of worry in the context of climate change - and how such things as a plunging stock market or other personal pressures push climate change down low on most people's priority list. The psychology of climate change shares a lot with the psychology of preparedness.
The upshot? As paradoxical as it may be to human nature, the best time to get prepared is when preparedness is lowest on your worry list; because when it's at the top, you'll probably be frantic and possibly out of time to properly prepare.