Rescue practice is essential.  How often have you witnessed rescue situations where many couldn't toss a throw rope?  This is why we practice this skill multiple times during our classes, first on stationary targets and then on moving ones.  Practice belaying skills as well.  I lead various "workouts" throughout the year that reinforce several key rescue skills like throw ropes, wading, and swimming.  This is a great deal of fun in the summer months.  In regards to planning, when was the last time you tested your PFD?  Are you certain that it still floats you properly?  It is a good idea to jump in a deep body of calm water to test your buoyancy.  Each Winter, it is a good idea to check your carabineers, pulleys, rope, and first aid kit.  I also recommend taking a look at your dry suit gaskets and adding some seal protection.  Before using your rescue vest, test the quick release buckle and rethread.