High Alert Institute



Getting Voted Back onto the Island; Part 2 – Surviving: The Physical Needs

by | Oct 31, 2008

Getting Voted Back onto the Island

Part 2 – Surviving: The Physical Needs

By: Dr. Maurice A. Ramirez

Updated: O4Oct2022

An increasing number of business continuity professionals and disaster recovery experts are discovering that the most vulnerable links in the continuity of operations chain are the people a business serves and those who serve them. While this seems intuitively obvious now, for decades, resolving the fragility of technology has been the exclusive focus of the industry. 

This series has explored why employees and customers are prone to staying away from business sites, gathering their “tribe” close, and effectively voting businesses off the island.

Their Needs, Your Needs, and Our Needs

The greatest need of a business during adversity, crisis, or disaster is staffing. All things equal, the business able to mount the best response will be the business with the most people responding. The problem is that the same is true for individuals and their tribe (those close to them). These competing needs create the first conflict: the tribe needs manpower and your business needs manpower, but the individual employee must choose where to place their priorities in light of limited resources. In this equation, the business is predisposed to lose.

Changing the equation means changing the perception that human resources must be allocated to the tribe or the business to the perception that human resources can be shared simultaneously between the tribe and the business. To accomplish this feat, the business must partner with the individual to provide one or more of the tribe’s survival needs in each of the two survival functions, safeguarding and sustaining.

Safeguarding: The Most Basic Human Function

Before an individual (employee or customer) leaves their tribe and journeys to the business, the individual must be assured that they and the tribe are safeguarded in a very concrete fashion. For a business to partner with the individual to safeguard the tribe, the business must not only ensure a safe and secure environment at the work site. It must assist the individual in providing that safety and security for the rest of the tribe, whether the tribe accompanies the individual to the business site or remains elsewhere.

The need to safeguard the tribe explains why individuals will venture out to purchase building supplies at the local hardware store or obtain medical care at the emergency room even before roads are safe. Similarly, hospitals and emergency shelters have long known that if they allow staff families to shelter in place at the work site, absenteeism falls precipitously. Shelter assistance, home repair services, alternate housing sites, travel assistance, transportation, and “disaster daycare” are a few suggestions that businesses should consider for laying the foundation for partnering with the tribe.

Sustaining: The Most Obvious of Needs

The key to becoming a partner for sustaining the tribe is to become as essential as the things that sustain each member of the tribe. In times of crisis and disaster, tribes seek to become like spacecraft, self-contained vessels protecting that which sustains life; air, water, food, clothing, and fuel. Most business disaster plans, continuity of operations plans, pandemic plans, and business continuity plans, if they address survival needs at all, seek to make the business site like a space station to sustain the individual. The business owner that becomes a true tribal partner provides for those their business aims to attract in the same way they provide for their tribe. In this way, they identify the sustenance unique to their locality. Few hardware stores sell canned foods and camping meals. But, when a hurricane threatens, these stores stock the shelves with water and canned goods, knowing that this will attract the customers already in need of the safeguarding that building repair supplies facilitate.

Most supplies that sustain the tribe are common sense items easily stockpiled and even more easily distributed. Stockpiling is one area where business continuity professionals and disaster recovery experts excel. Still, it must be remembered that like the food at the hardware store, these supplies only attract people if they believe their tribe is safe. Moreover, these sustaining supplies only attract people to a particular business if that business is associated with the tribe’s safety.

Welcome to the Tribe

People’s instinct during and after a crisis or disaster is to gather those most dear to them, then partner with those most beneficial. In the modern age of organized disaster response, emergency services, and volunteer aid, the window of opportunity for a business to be “useful” or even “relevant” is vanishingly small. However, when a business has built relationships with employees and customers, collaborating for the needs of their respective tribes, the business becomes part of the tribe and gets to stay on the island.

The next segment of this series will examine, 

Part 3 – Gratifying: Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Needs.

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.

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High Alert Institute

4800 Ben Hill Trail
Lake Wales, FL 33898
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