When you have an idea about future activity or future needs, you prepare. Something is probably going to happen or will happen in the future. You know what you have to do later today, or in the evening, or tomorrow, or next year, so you prepare for that.
Helen prepares lessons for the classes that she teaches.
Matt is preparing to take a math test tomorrow.
We prepared for our trip to South Dakota months in advance.
Everyone living along the east coast in the United States is preparing for a big storm due to arrive in the middle of the week.
Workers prepared the street for resurfacing.
I prepared dinner last night. (The word "prepare" is often used for cooking or getting food ready.)
The word "preparation" is a noun:
People are making preparations for the arrival of a big storm.
Preparations for the arrival of the King and Queen of Sweden were made months in advance.
Inadequate preparation for college resulted in the young woman’s poor grades.