Griffin Works offers Pawsitive Interactions with Service Dogs During Response Operations©, an audience-customized training that breaks down barriers by offering hands-on handling training and demonstrations with working service dogs for fire departments, EMS agencies, and public safety organizations.

Part of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium and home to the National Emergency Response and Recovery Training Center, TEEX has been leading homeland security training since 1998. The major TEEX programs include fire and rescue, infrastructure and safety, law enforcement, economic and workforce development, and homeland security. As a member of The Texas A&M University System, TEEX is unique in its ability to access a broad range of emerging research and technical expertise. Beginning with course design and development all the way through hands-on instruction and national certification testing, TEEX delivers comprehensive training through both classroom and hands-on instruction and as online courses.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) was created by Congress in 2000 as part of the Children’s Health Act to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events. This unique network of child-serving professionals, caregivers and young adults, researchers, and national partners is committed to changing the course of children’s lives by improving their care and moving scientific gains quickly into practice across the U.S. The NCTSN is administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and coordinated by the UCLA-Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress (NCCTS). 

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI) is part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The EMI provides national leadership in developing and delivering training to ensure that individuals and groups having key emergency management responsibilities possess the requisite skills to effectively perform their jobs.

The High Alert Institute maintains a list of reviewed courses provided by governments, universities and professional organizations. This list is geared towards the non-emergency management person who participates in disaster planning, preparedness, response, recovery or mitigation as part of their job responsibilities.

The High Alert Institute has partnered with Shutterstock to distribute stock images from the nature images donated by our supporters. For eligible stock images, Shutterstock will donate a portion of the royalty to the High Alert Institute. There is no cost to charitable organizations or to Shutterstock customers.

For eligible purchases through AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the High Alert Institute. There is no cost to charitable organizations or to AmazonSmile customers. All you need to do is push the SMILE NOW button and select to support THE HIGH ALERT INSTITUTE on AmazonSmile.

Koi need forever homes, too! For pond enthusiasts, freshwater exotic and ornamental fish may not be available through pet stores or rescues in their area. The High Alert Institute Aquatic Pet Shelter Rehoming Program will be happy to assist you in stocking your new pond or adding a new finned friend to your school. Coming soon – when you adopt a Koi from the High Alert Institute Aquatic Pet Shelter Rehoming Program, we can arrange for delivery to your door anywhere in the continental United States.

Have you always wanted a Koi pond but don’t have the space one? Sponsor a Koi in our community shelter pond and we send you photos of your sponsored animal. Coming soon are live Koi Cameras above and below the water to enjoy your sponsored Koi anytime.

Dumping of freshwater non-native species and exotic aquatic pets into wild habitats is a man-made disaster that is truly preventable. The Institute’s Aquatic Pet Welfare Partnership works to raise awareness and reduce the impact on healthy ecosystems through education, as well as rescue and rehoming. Joined by champions of animal welfare and environmental stewardship, this  association of aquatic pet rescue operations and aquatic pet shelters across the United States aims to save our finned friends and preserve our waterways together.

Want to share our cause with family, friends, and colleagues? Looking for a non-traditional way to celebrate a birthday or honor someone special? Support the Institute by starting your own Peer-to-Peer fundraising challenge! Let your contacts know why our mission is important to you and what they can do to support your cause. START YOUR OWN FUNDRAISER for the High Alert Institute.

From the staffing pool to the shelter ponds, from the boardroom to the classroom, and from reading the science to writing the analyses, High Alert Institute programs and services benefit from the experience, expertise, and generosity of our volunteers. Put your talents to use for good and to good use – VOLUNTEER TODAY.

Make your donation twice as nice by rehoming aquatic pets and providing a rehabilitation companion pet to a deserving person, family, or facility. Sponsor part or all of a Joy of Koi Program pond installation – complete with rehomed koi – and give the gifts of love and recovery.

Professional photographers, amateurs, and legal copywrite holders are all welcome to participate in the High Alert Institute Nature Photo Donation Program. Sales of the images benefit the Institute and donors are eligible for tax deductions equivalent to the fair market value of their photos. Landscapes, seascapes, animals, flowers – all may be accepted – whether new or vintage  images. People may be included in the photo but only if unidentifiable (i.e., blurred figures at a distance).

Did you know that unused patents and copyrights can be donated to charity? Intellectual Property (IP) just sitting on a shelf will lose value as it becomes obsolete. The High Alert Institute IP Donation Program seeks to rescue stranded, technology-related IP with the potential for development into marketable products. Once accepted by the program, the owner/inventor is eligible for a tax deduction equivalent to the fair market value of the IP. The Institute receives the patent licensing fees or revenue from the sale of the IP to businesses, helping us to fund our mission. In turn, businesses are able to advance their markets and create jobs for less money than starting a project from scratch.

Disasters are defined as situations in which needs exceed or overwhelm available resources. Some disasters affect an entire community, while other disasters impact individuals and families. Crises of physical or psychological health can be very personal disasters.
The therapeutic value of pets during illness, trauma, and recovery is well established. And Koi fish may be well suited for people who are not able to provide verbal pet commands or physically care for pets like dogs and cats. Koi ponds are also a source of beauty and peace, providing an ideal setting for quiet reflection or meditation.
We are working to partner with pond installers and aquatic pet rescues/shelters to offer free or reduced-cost ponds with rehomed Koi fish to people seeking this type of pet therapy.

Disasters disrupt life and impact our sense of personal, family, and community safety. Survivors and responders alike often are not aware of the emotional, psychological or spiritual challenges that they may face from disaster onset through recovery. With two decades of experience training responders and communities to prepare for the behavioral health aspects of disasters, we will continue to provide education and a curated list of resources to groups or individuals.

Non-medical factors that impact overall health are termed Social Determinants of Health or SDoH. Noise pollution, poor air quality, and poor water quality are three environmental factors known to have a strong link to overall health. And the same environmental factors that impact humans impact their pets and other animals in their care. We continue to assist in advocacy, education, and technology development to mitigate the impact of SDoH on humans and animals alike.

Our efforts in shelter and rescue are the main focus of our environmental stewardship, reducing the environmental impact of non-native aquatic animals being dumped into public waterways. The High Alert Institute also assists innovators with the design, development, and evaluation of green and renewable energy technologies. Reducing the carbon footprint associated with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery furthers our continued mission to mitigate risk and improve resilience.

We partner with public and private organizations, sharing resources and fostering partnerships to improve disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, and mitigation.

The High Alert Institute team has over a century of combined research experience in medical, nursing, behavioral health, and disaster sciences. Our team provides support to researchers and technology developers through comprehensive literature searches and reviews, as well as failure mode database searches and adjudicated reviews.

When disaster strikes, most aquatic pet owners have limited options to secure the safety of their pets. Sheltering in place may not be possible if there is no power to provide aeration and “pet-friendly” shelters do not include ponds or aquariums. Our goal is to provide an option for aquatic pet owners in need of rescue and shelter for their finned friends.

Our goal is to share our two decades of disaster readiness experience with animal welfare organizations, shelters, caretakers, and pet owners, as they implement contingency  plans for natural and manmade disasters.

High Alert Institute



Expand Your Business Horizons with Pattern Recognition

by | Dec 6, 2005

If you want to see new opportunities for your business and increase your decision-making speed and accuracy, begin by looking outside your own business—even outside your industry—at trends and patterns that you can apply to your own organization. Ask yourself, “How do others do what they do?” The fact is that you can learn from observing others companies’ patterns of how to change, and in turn solve problems, make decisions, and grow your business faster than ever before.
A failure to recognize an impending problematic pattern can be just as devastating to a Mom & Pop business as it is to a hospital or NASA or to a CEO’s career. Enron had a pattern of corporate corruption and failure of personal responsibility. MCI had a pattern of bad investment and then later fraud to cover those bad investments. All of these things were patterns which we can look back on in retrospect, as the books are open for everybody, and from outside industries we can say, “It was obvious this was happening.” And yet the people inside the industry, the “experts,” were looking at the same patterns and could not see them. They lacked perspective from the outside, just as we, in our own industries, can fail to have the perspective on ourselves that others may have of us.
So how can you improve your pattern recognition skills to enhance your business? Consider the following:

Look beyond your own niche. You must be able to pull back your blinders to recognize those patterns that tell you something has changed or is about to change. Within your own company, you may have great pattern recognition and the ability to anticipate what’s going to come next, but if you can’t see outside your company’s bubble, you may be left in the same situation that IBM was in 1978. They only looked at their own company’s patterns and did not see the coming of the personal computer. Over at Apple, though, Steve Jobs identified patterns beyond the horizon, hired Bill Gates, and started a new company…and a revolution.
If other industries ultimately serve a similar purpose to yours, then even if they seem radically different than yours, their operating patterns may still be applicable. For example, health care has in recent years begun adopting the safety models used in the airline industry. Like doctors and nurses, pilots and air traffic controllers are among the few in their industry who have ultimate responsibility for a large number of lives. Many more support people are responsible for making certain that the pilots are able to do their jobs safely and effectively: the mechanics, the flight attendants, and the gate agents. 
When the medical industry identified that it had a problem with safety (too many unfortunate situations were overlapping and people were dying as a result), they looked outside their own industry, to those where the stakes are very high and where a single error, if not caught, could result in not one death but 500. They learned that in the airline industry, everyone—from the lowliest mechanic or carpet sweeper, all the way up to the captain—has the authority to say, “Stop that plane!” if they have reason to believe a safety issue has arisen. Importing this and other patterns gleaned from the airline industry will be a long process for the medical industry but one that will ultimately lead to greater safety and efficiency.

Trust patterns, not data. If you’ve been wearing blinders for awhile, you may find it difficult to trust your instincts, even when you have identified patterns within your own business and beyond. Your natural tendency will be to look for data that will back up the pattern you’re seeing. If you do this, though, and the data doesn’t support the trend, that doesn’t mean you were wrong in your initial identification of the pattern. Data simply can’t predict the future; it can’t tell you where your business is headed, only reinforce what you already know about your business’ past. Data can tell you that profits are down or have leveled off, but only pattern recognition can give you a new perspective on your business and help you decide what to do to reverse trends and solve problems.

Use your eyes, then analyze. Albert Einstein said that the ultimate insanity is to continue to do what you’re doing and expect a different result. Perhaps you’ve identified a pattern that you want to adopt, but you don’t want to make significant changes just to make changes, nor do you want to take action with only guesswork to back you up. 
First, you must have the ability to recognize what’s wrong. When you look at your business’ financial picture, for example, what do you see? If it’s not what you expect, what do you do? Supplement this analysis with the extra patterns you’ve added to your repertoire in your exploration of other businesses and industries. The perspective you gain from having these extra patterns to reference will give you a twofold gain: 1) With enough patterns, you’ll be able to see that the financial picture isn’t right, and 2) you’ll have a sense of what changes you can implement to make the situation better by borrowing patterns from other industries and adapting them to your situation.

Mimic, then make them your own. When NASA experienced the space shuttle accidents, the first thing executives did was to look back at where patterns failed. They discovered that a culture of silence had evolved at NASA. So they went outside of their industry and got experts in communications and team-building to teach them new patterns that enabled them not just to team-build, but also to teach them new patterns they could mimic. The experts enabled NASA to learn what the pattern looks like when a team is beginning to fail and to emulate new, more effective problem-solving patterns. Now they can recognize when the teams begin to fail and communication lines are crossed so the opportunity for absolute disaster is less likely to occur.
When you’re making an adopted pattern your own, don’t make a deliberate effort to change it around or adapt it to your business. You’ll find that if you fully internalize a pattern, as it becomes a part of your behavior and thought process, then your brain will automatically take any aspects of the pattern that are not particularly useful to you and set them aside, so that the pattern, though adopted from elsewhere, works for you. At that point, the pattern truly becomes yours; you have broadened your perspective and added additional facets or directions from which you can see still new vantage points.

Passing the patterns down. While your company’s culture will determine whether one leader learns this process or a group does, a group is ideal. You want any shift in paradigm for the organization to be a unified shift. Therefore, all of your core decision makers should learn new patterns simultaneously so as not to create the appearance to those below them that the senior executives are all headed off willy-nilly in some new, weird direction. So, as you develop a culture of mimicry in your organization, the rank and file will learn new patterns by simply mimicking the behaviors of those who lead.

Pattern Recognition + Positive Actions = Excellent Results
When you’ve built up your storehouse of borrowed patterns and perfected the processes of mimicry and internalization, you’ll see a myriad positive results occur. Among other things, you’ll learn that you are able to discern when something is not only different, but good-different—a positive shift that benefits your business. When that happens, resist any temptation to mess with it and instead ride it out. Likewise, should you identify a negative pattern approaching, you can take proactive steps to head it off at the pass. Either way, your business will benefit from your new pattern recognition skill, and your company’s bottom line will soar.

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