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



Four Steps to All Hazards Risk Assessment, Planning, Mitigation, Training, and Evaluation

by | Sep 1, 2022

Since 2004, September has been designated National Preparedness Month. Activities surrounding this annual event focus on how we all can be more disaster ready – families, communities, businesses, charities, and schools, as well as animal care and welfare organizations. Multiple US government agencies have developed and deployed software that can uncomplicate the processes of conducting your disaster/business continuity risk assessment, risk mitigation, and plan writing. But not everyone knows where to find all of the resources needed to assemble sufficiently detailed all-hazards planning, education, and training components.

The High Alert Institute has collected these resources and tools to create a simplified approach to setting up a viable disaster/continuity plan for any small business, organization, or community. Below are listed the four steps of this process:

Step 1: Collate an All-Hazards list of planning scenarios 

Step 2: Use free government software to help you identify risks, mitigations, and write your plan 

Step 3: Set up mutual aid relationships with your staff and vendors

Step 4: Conduct disaster exercises and after-action reviews

In this article, we will walk you through the first step – collating a list of planning scenarios required by the standards applicable to your group or business. 

For decades, emergency planners at the local, state, and federal levels have carefully documented and analyzed a broad scope of natural and manmade disasters for their disaster planning activities. Most of these resources are publicly available and pertain to specific counties, municipalities, zip codes, and, in some cases, neighborhoods. In Step 1 of our process, you will collate planning scenarios from the following sources to yield a comprehensive All-Hazards list:

  • The 15 National Planning Scenarios

These are the basic building blocks of all disaster plans, set forth by the 2001 Presidential Executive Order mandating national preparedness. Together, the scenarios serve as an integral component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approach to implementing Homeland Security Presidential Directive 8 (HSPD-8). You can obtain these from the High Alert Institute website.

  • Planning scenarios of interest to those reviewing your plan 

Scenarios of interest to plan reviewers, most often industry regulators and inspectors, serve to prepare like industries for in-common actual and potential disasters. These may include scenarios specific to your business or organization that are required by a governing agency or institution and available through them.

  • Planning scenarios common or unique to your location 

These are scenarios common to your location that identify local hazards and threats. In turn, this forms the basis of statewide and local planning by governments and private businesses. Such scenarios include actual or potential issues that have happened in your region. This historical data would be available through your local office of Emergency Management or Chamber of Commerce.

  • Scenarios used by businesses/organizations in your network 

While the first three types of scenarios inform government planning to a greater degree than to private business, scenarios from real-world private industry provide planning insight specific to the private sector. Others in your network may be willing to share their plans with you, particularly if they have had first-hand disaster experience.

By combining these scenarios, you will be able to create a more comprehensive All-Hazards plan. The results of such efforts contribute to the development of stronger disaster/business continuity plans and serve the following functions:

  • Contribute to standards for the assessment of national, state, local, tribal and private sector preparedness 
  • Guide federal funding to state, local, and tribal governments, as well as the private sector
  • Contribute to standards for regulations and inspections
  • Assist in the development of national, state, local, tribal, and private sector exercises and training programs

We are ALWAYS stronger together.


Future articles in this series will explore:

Step 2: Use free government software to help you identify risks, mitigations, and write your plan 

Step 3: Set up mutual aid relationships with your staff and vendors

Step 4: Conduct disaster exercises and after-action reviews

To download planning resources, visit the Institute Training Library Contingency Planning Section.

For more information on applying all 4 steps of our process, visit the Institute Planning4Good Page.

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High Alert Institute

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Lake Wales, FL 33898
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