As some have stated, people that live in areas were tornadoes are somewhat common make some kind of preparation. They either have access to a tornado shelter or live near a place to go. That is about all a person can do.
Even tho they are getting better at predicting tornadoes, some happen with little or no warning. Tho most happen between 4-9 p.M., they can happen any time of day or night. A person could just sleep through any alerts even if sent out with plenty of warning. Tho most tornadoes do little damage, some cause so much damage that you wouldn't even be safe in your basement as even well built homes can be ripped off the foundation.
Even when the forecast system works well, you may still be away from home. They say you shouldn't try to outrun a tornado but I don't know why. Sure, they can have wind speeds over 200 mph but I think their average land speed is about 35 mph. Odds are, if your in an area that is unsafe to travel that fast, your in an area with some access to storm shelter of some kind. If your in an area where the speed limit is over 55. Just keep driving away from it. Either way, I would think your odds would be much better than lying in a ditch with tornado debris flying around overhead.
Most people living in areas where tornadoes are fairly commonplace have educated themselves on how to identify tornadoes, have taken the time to prepare areas of their home in case a tornado hits and gain provisions before the event. However, sometimes preparation isn't enough. It is impossible for a person to totally prepare themselves for a freak accident which can happen easily in tornadoes.
I think people definitely prepare themselves well for big catastrophes like tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, etc... There are all kinds of gadgets and dried foods sold everywhere that people can stock for the long run and use in those situations. They are well prepared and human nature has all kinds of tricks to survive in extreme situations.
I think the majority of people who live in an area that frequently gets tornadoes are not adequately prepared. A reinforced underground space is the best place to be during a tornado, but most people rely on basements (if they even have one) or interior first floor rooms, which do not provide enough security against a tornado. Additionally, most people do not have a large enough stockpile of food and other survival items to sustain their family if they become trapped due to a tornado.
A lot of people prepare for tornadoes, but I would disagree that most people do so adequately. I would also say that this is not the ordinary citizen's fault. Governments must ensure that people in risky areas are well prepared, informed and equipped to handle themselves in catastrophic situations, whether it's a tornado, an earthquake, or a flood.