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



Fiddling as America Burns

by | Jan 28, 2008

Emergency Managers, Contingency Planners and Disaster Preparedness Educators nation wide sing a common refrain, the need for a coordinated disaster preparedness effort is not news. The need for meaningful and effective disaster preparedness funding is not a recent revelation. The Institute of Medicine and later the National Academies of Science have published a total of 3 reports calling for increased funding, more coordinated planning, effective and meaningful drills and the widespread adoption of High Fidelity Immersion Simulation by the medical community and the rest of the disaster response community. Outspoken advocates for the American people form a cacophonous symphony of concern. But is anyone listening as this band plays on?!


In the past it has been painfully obvious that those in the private sector in charge of spending on preparedness have been unwilling or unable to invest in this most critical of priorities. Some hospitals have begun to invest in the education and the equipment, but most have not. Even fewer major American corporations have “seen the light.”


There have been some shining stars: 

  • The National Disaster Life Support Foundation has created a series of courses often characterized as “The CPR of the 21st Century.”
  • The American Board of Disaster Medicine has awarded Board Certification for Physicians in Disaster Medicine
  • Training for disaster preparedness has moved from the university environment to become a growth industry in the private sector
    • The National Center for Biodefense Solutions, Inc.
    • Nationals Disaster Life Support of Florida, Inc.
    • Burgess and Associates, Inc.
  • The State of Texas has created the Texas Medical Rangers as a disaster medical reserve corps.


But more is needed:

  • A commitment by corporate healthcare to Disaster Preparedness and Community Emergency Response Integration regardless of whether grant funding is available.
  • An understanding that Disaster Preparedness is a personal, family, community, business and healthcare responsibility, independent and separate from the Federal responsibility.
  • An acceptance of the financial responsibility for personal, family, community, business and healthcare preparedness.


What can you do when disaster strikes?


Well, if you didn’t prepare ahead:

  1. Don’t panic – this is easier said than done.  With a few must-haves you’ll be able to survive at least 72 hours.  By then communications should be back up and help will be on its way.
  2. Use common sense – if it ain’t yours, don’t touch it.  If the power line that fell is not yours don’t touch it, if the stray dog isn’t yours don’t touch it.  This will help you remain safe.
  3. Work smart, not hard – it is hot, you are limited on your water.  Work in the early hours, sleep under your tarp mid-day, work in the evening when its cooler again.
  4. Don’t wander – wherever you are from, you know the dangers there.  This is not the time to learn something new.  See rule one.
  5. Seek help – talk to neighbors, friends, and other family members, don’t go it alone.  There is safety and strength in numbers.


But since it is always better to plan ahead, here is a short list of “must-haves:”


  1. Tarp, not for your roof – if you’re outside you can create shade; if your shelter is gone, it provides shelter; and condensation to collect and cool drinking water.
  2. Crank or shake type flashlight – when its’ still overcast and no moon nothing is darker than dark.
  3. Crank type radio with cell phone charger – receive information and send messages through wireless.
  4. First aid kit – small personal ones for each person in the family that you can carry in a backpack.
  5. Backpack packed before disaster strikes – list of basic can be forwarded.
  6. Water – most people think food and water, but this one is left until the end on purpose.  Obesity is found in more than 50% of the population.  Most can live off what they have stored for 3 – 5 days.  However water is not stored in the human body, it must be replenished.  Two gallons per person per day is ideal which will cover only drinking, not flushing or washing; two quarts is minimum.


With these few steps, you can ensure that while others are fiddling, you are thriving.

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High Alert Institute

4800 Ben Hill Trail
Lake Wales, FL 33898
Office: 863.696.8090
FAX: 407.434.0804

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