I live in New Jersey- which I've always considered to be a relatively stable location, in terms of natural disasters.
The only major events are hurricanes, where flooding is a major problem. When Hurricane Irene came through, the wind wasn't bad, but my basement got flooded almost knee-deep. Right now, I'm in the beginnings of Hurricane Sandy, which is basically engulfing the East Coast.
The one thing that's guaranteed when a storm like this is coming, is that people go crazy stocking up on supplies.
My Dad, Big Paul, is a supermarket manager & has great stories about the madness before a storm. Last nite, he was telling us that someone asked to buy bales of hay from a Halloween display. This is in the city, by the way.
I'm not going crazy stockpiling goods. I just make sure I have plenty of containers & buckets of water, and some food. If the power goes out, I got candles, wood for the fire, & books to read. As long as a tree doesn't smash through my house or something else crazy happens, I'm just planning on staying calm & riding it out.
Here is "Third World Skeptical Kid"'s take on 1st World disaster preparedness: