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



Get Out of Crisis Mode and Stay Out: Utilizing Resource-Based Decision-Making in Your Organization

by | Feb 25, 2006

Two economic sectors dominate the field when it comes to decision-making: one operates on a resource-based model and the other runs on a continuous crisis model. Many organizations choose the latter model because they place tremendous emphasis on saving money minute to minute, not on investing in future need. But resource-based decision-making offers a process that helps you make instant decisions, and more important, introduces small changes that, over time, prevent your organization from getting into future bad situations. Once you have assessed a situation, you need to determine the best course of action. But before you can make a decision about what to do, you must have the resources to put that action into place. Giant retailers operate on the principle of building “surge capacity,” and your organization can, too. Basically, surge capacity involves investing in plenty of extra resources and having people trained and at the ready to use those resources when necessary. Here’s how it works: a super-store like Wal-Mart may have thirty cash registers, and while they may have fifty employees trained to work in check-out, at most times only five to ten clerks staff the registers. However, the store prepares based on its assessment of when business is likely to be slow and when it will suddenly mushroom to a point that necessitates bringing on additional staff to utilize those empty registers. On the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, for example, the retailer will need to add temporary workers and all available permanent staff to get customers’ money and then get them out the door with a minimal wait. With Resources, Timing is Everything The idea of surge capacity originated in hospitals that brought in additional help when necessary to utilize their reserve resources in the case of pandemic outbreaks or massive accidents. Ironically, most hospital administrators have now given up using the idea of surge capacity in their emergency rooms, which is why patients must sometimes wait as long as twenty-four hours to see a doctor. Business models in every industry provide similar examples when they function without back-up resources or surge capacities. In manufacturing, does it cost more to store parts (resources) than it does to shut down the line and pay everybody if a strike means you’re unable to obtain just one necessary part? In your business, how often is a similar situation likely to happen? Knowing this will determine your risk model. What is your tolerance for risk? And what are your customers willing to accept as a failure? In your own organization, you must look at what resources you have and make decisions about those resources on an ongoing basis. When you have resources in reserve and aren’t doing a lot of business, financial prudence may be wise, but as you approach the end of your available resources, you must reorganize priorities. When that happens, you get out of your comfort zone and front-load the system with more resources. Otherwise, you will provide worse customer service when your resources are only sufficient to meet immediate needs and face disaster when your resources exceed your needs. In extreme cases, you could end up with a full-blown catastrophe on your hands, where your needs exceed all ability to respond or recover. Fortunately, this doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s usually in the form of a total business failure. To keep your organization from holding too many resources—whatever you consider your equivalent of too many empty registers—you need to start as soon as possible to notice patterns. When you begin to experience back-up, should you restrict product outflow or availability? Increase business through incentives at off-peak times so you need to concern yourself less with the peak times? These are all early resource-based decisions that keep you from getting into or exceeding your surge capacity. Resource Availability and Adaptability are Key You have to know your resource availability. This may seem like common sense, but cost arguments will arise, so prepare for opposition to this model in the majority of corporate value systems. While super-centers operating on the surge capacity system accept the necessity of only using fifty percent of their registers the vast proportion of the year, the airlines’ practice of overselling flights is far more common. For many such industries, angry customers seem like a small price to pay until the system is maximally stressed. As you move further into your surge capacity, you need to bring in additional resources so you can utilize those physical resources you’re holding in reserve. In the retail model, this means spreading work throughout the store by pulling people off their positions and on to the registers. With resource-based decision-making, you’ll learn that you need to adapt; sometimes it’s easier to get employees, and sometimes it’s easier to get equipment. If you’re an auto detailer, all you need to do routine business is your car and cleaning supplies until a surge period like Valentine’s Day, when you may need to hire additional office help to handle calls for service while you go out and detail cars, or you may need to hire other detailers while you stay in the office booking clients. Many of us learned to make resource-based decisions but rarely as an ongoing practice. You’re taught to plan, but as situations develop, you’re likely to go off the plan, making up new plans as you go, thinking outside the box. But you need to think outside box before the box careens off the cliff. If you’re trying to make resource-based decisions in the middle of the crisis, you’re behind, and if yours is a resource-limited situation, you’ll stay behind. Make Your Case for Resource-Based Decision-Making No one’s likely to listen to a lone wolf advocating a resource-based decision model, especially in the midst of a crisis. To achieve buy-in, work patiently to change the corporate culture, introducing the ideas before the organization hits crisis mode. If you’re already at the disaster point, prepare to wait until the organization moves through the emergency, and then seek out key decision makers and suggest half-day conferences to familiarize them with the system’s principles. Post-crisis, many leaders are open to new thought processes that will provide a way to avoid future calamities. In the end, resource-based decision making beats the crisis model 100 percent of the time. The key is to keep at it consistently and to always be evaluating your resources and making adjustments as necessary. By adopting this practice in your company, you’ll have an edge over the competition, happier customers, and less stress in times of challenge or change. And those are the true keys for a business that thrives.
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