Recent events such as the tornadoes in the U.S. and the Japan earthquake and tsunami remind us that our four-legged friends are just as vulnerable as we are when a disaster strikes.
Starting with Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the web has been used to powerful effect to locate not just people, but lost pets and reunite them with their families.
A quick search of Facebook reveals pages created earlier this year for animals lost and found from the April tornadoes in Alabama and the May tornado in Joplin, Missouri as well as the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March.
While these are valuable tools for pet owners, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s always prudent to plan ahead before a disaster strikes.
Things to think about include: mapping out a route and knowing where you might be able to shelter your pet in an emergency as not all hotels and shelters are pet-friendly.
Your vet, or the humane society or the local emergency management agency are good places to get information on evacuation plans that include pets.
A grab-and-go disaster kit for your pets is also a must and should include things like food and water, medication and your petÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s vaccination records.
The I.I.I. message is simple: donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t forget your four-legged friends in your disaster-planning.
For more information on disaster planning with pets check out the I.I.I. web video.