On his blog, Patrick Madrid writes:
First, the devastating quake in Haiti 45 days ago, and now this one in Chile. My guess is that more of these disasters will strike more frequently. I hope not, but that's a hunch. Sooner or later, one of these BIG quakes will strike within the U.S. — Los Angeles? St. Louis? Chicago? San Francisco? New York? It's just a matter of time, the scientists have been telling us.
Two things we should do:
1) Always be ready to meet the Lord by staying close to him in prayer and the sacraments, especially frequent confession. This is a no-brainer, but it's amazing how many people, including Catholics, never give the four last things any thought: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell;
2) If you haven't already, start making practical preparations in your own home so that, if find yourself in a quake-stricken area, you and your family can fare better and be in a position to help those around you. Lay in a supply (even if just a small one) of extra water, foods that will keep without refrigeration, medicines like Ibuprofen, a hand-crank radio (no batteries needed), etc. Make a plan with your family, especially your kids, so that they will know where to meet up. You know, those kinds of basic preparations.
We should pray to God that these disasters spur us to greater charity, and to deepen our Lenten devotion, in a sense: to remember that we will die, and that we know neither the day nor the hour.