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earthquake2105Earthquakes can strike without warning, and being prepared for such a disaster can mean the difference between life and death. Here are some tips someone has offered to help you and your loved ones make it through a quake:

~ Those living in areas not prone to earthquakes can respond quickly to the plight of disaster victims in quake zones by complacently smirking and saying, "I told you so."

~ To minimize loss and damage in a quake, try not to own things.

~ Practice your burrowing-out-from-under-40-tons-of-rubble skills ahead of time.

~ Look out your window often. If you see a large, zig-zag-shaped crevasse moving rapidly from the horizon toward your home, step either to the right or the left.

~ For those who fear earthquakes, it may comfort you to know that a majority of the damage during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake did not come from the tremors themselves. Instead, it was from the raging, out-of-control fires that consumed most of the city.

~ A doorway is the safest place to be during a quake. Eat, sleep, and work in doorways.

~ Be sure to mail your house-insurance payments a full five business days before a major earthquake strikes.

~ If you are caught in a major earthquake in Southern California and are part of the entertainment industry, take a moment or two to reflect on how grossly you've wasted your life.

As several of the suggestions above point out (with tongue firmly in cheek!), the problem with an earthquake is its unpredictability.

A few months ago, Hurricane Ike devastated the Galveston area, but there was at least warning for several days that danger was coming.  With an earthquake, there is none -- it simply strikes!

Jesus described his second coming as an event like that.  He used terminology like "a thief in the night" to describe the unexpectedness of the moment.  His purpose in using that image was not to suggest that he is coming to steal something.  Rather, he is coming at a time when we least expect it.  And the only way to be ready for that moment (just as with an earthquake) is to stay prepared all the time.

"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The skies will disappear with a loud noise.  Everything in them will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be burned up.  In that way everything will be destroyed.  So what kind of people should you be?

You should live holy lives and serve God, as you wait for and look forward to the coming of the day of God." (I Peter 3:10-12a, NCV).

My prayer is that you will be prepared so that you, too, can truly "look forward" to that day (whenever it may be!).

Alan Smith