Preparedness involves the positioning of equipment, parts and material to replace or repair damaged facilities (due to breakdowns, accidents or natural hazards). It represents a buffer stock of a whole range of inputs used for port operation. It also identifies essential personnel that need to be available to operate the terminal and repair damaged infrastructure and equipment.

Preparedness improves the restorative capacity of a port terminal at the cost of duplication (i.e. more parts and equipment are available than necessary for standard operations) and higher inventory costs. The critical challenge is to assess the quantity of buffer stocks to store in case of potential risks and disruptions, and to build redundancy in operations and infrastructure.