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



Is Your Business Environment Ready for the Health Effects of Climate Change?

by | Aug 15, 2020

Is your business environment ready for climate change? Whether you agree or disagree with the thesis of human contribution to climate change, there is no arguing with the fact that recent years have seen record high temperatures and record low temperatures across the country and the globe.

Unprecedented fires in Australia and the Amazon rain forest, as well as record rainfall across Europe and the North American coasts are yet more proof that the Earth’s climate is shifting as it has many times in its 4.5 billion year history. The World Health Organization (WHO) as well as the CDC here in the United States have identified environmental heat exposure as an evolving threat at home and at work. 

As outdoor temperatures swing through ever greater extremes of hot and cold, employees will spend more and more time indoors. Employees working in confined quarters are more exposed to illness and disease and contribute more to poor indoor air quality. If your business isn’t prepared to protect your most valuable asset (your employees) from illness, it could cost you a lot of money in the coming years. Fortunately, there are things business owners can do to help prevent financial losses.

Offer a Health Plan and Flu Vaccinations to Reduce Financial Losses

Certainly, employee health plans are not inexpensive – but have you considered how much money sick employees cost a company?

According to the workforce solution company Circadian, for each hourly employee, the cost of absenteeism due to illness = $3,600/year and $2,650/year for salaried employees. This includes wages to ill staff, wages paid to temp workers, and lost revenue due to absent employees and the disruption of business. (This information was published in Forbes magazine.)

Some estimates are less costly. Kaiser Permanente (K-P), a nationwide managed care consortium, reports the cost of absenteeism due to illness as $1,685/employee/year. But even at the lower K-P number, a business with only five employees still loses over $8,000 per year due to absenteeism. 

Regardless of which figures you wish to believe, the point is: When employees are out sick, it costs businesses money. So, what to do?

Flu vaccinations are an inexpensive way of keeping employees healthier during winter months. (This is the heart of flu season when people typically spend more time indoors and are thus exposed to more illness). 

Employers can:

* Require flu shots and pay for them

* Provide paid sick leave only employee had a flu shot (this is very common)

* Incorporate flu shots into healthcare coverage or an employee health program

Employers that provide and encourage flu shots receive:

* Less absenteeism

* More annual revenue

* Healthier employees

* Healthier clients (due to herd immunity)

* Community prestige for promoting public health

As noted earlier, the cost of absenteeism due to illnesses runs well into the thousands for employers each year, so flu shots offer a great return on investment.

When should employees be vaccinated? That depends. Some get a flu shot as early as August or September, but will need a second flu shot in February or March due to the long flu season.

Most receive their flu shot in October or early November, with the shot lasting until the end of a typical flu season (usually late February or early March). However, even a late flu shot (after the first week of November) provides protection for three or more months as the flu season builds in December and January.

Optimize IAQ to Reduce Environmentally Induced Stress

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is vital because contaminants such as radon, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other pollutants can build up indoors, leading to potentially serious health problems. Poor air quality increases blood pressure, risk of fatal heart attack and stroke by increasing the body’s stress response (also known as “Fight or Flight” response). By simply using a SMART ventilation controller to optimize air quality, you can reduce your stress level and the stress level of your employees by up to 14%.  This is not a seasonal need and will be especially important during the extreme temperature months of the summer and winter when many of us will spend more time indoors. 

Optimize IAQ by changing your building’s air filters regularly. At least every three months is recommended.

And don’t overlook the time many employees also spend in cars. If you have fleet vehicles, make sure the cabin filters are also changed on a regular basis. (A cabin filter is the vehicular equivalent of an indoor air filter in your company’s building.)

Improve Workplace Safety by Controlling Indoor Temperatures, but Do It Economically

Rising global temperatures have been demonstrated to not only increase stress levels, but also to increase the rates of aggression, bullying, verbal abuse and even workplace violence. Studies in several urban areas found that for every 2 degree rise in average yearly temperature, the rates of homicides, assaults and suicides rose by 3%. Interestingly, these increases were mitigated by indoor environmental temperature and humidity control.  The problem for many businesses is that as global temperatures rise, the cost of cooling indoor spaces will rise as well. A SMART ventilation controller can save businesses up to 30% on their heating and cooling costs by using outdoor air to heat or cool the indoor space when outdoor temperature and humidity are appropriate for the task.


When one considers the high cost that absenteeism due to illness has on a business’s bottom line, offering health plans, encouraging flu shots, ensuring IAQ (through SMART ventilation controllers) and economically controlling indoor temperatures, are investments that will reap dividends. Is your business ready?

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High Alert Institute

4800 Ben Hill Trail
Lake Wales, FL 33898
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