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



Know How to Stop, Drop, & Roll? Now, It’s Time to Rinse, Lather and Repeat

by | Jan 4, 2008

Over the past two decades, who has saved more lives in home fire?


You may be surprised to learn that more children have saved their parents than parents have saved children.


Nearly two generations ago, the National Fire Safety Council created the Stop, Drop and Roll program for kindergartners. The theory was simple: adult education on fire safety was failing miserably and home-fire related deaths were increasing each year.  The Council decided to introduce fire safety to children, with the goal being that children would influence their parents and take the fire safety knowledge with them throughout their life. 


The plan worked! Today, the majority of adults in their 30’s and 40’s, know exactly what to do in the event of a fire: crawl below the smoke; touch the door not the doorknob before opening a door during a fire; and, of course, Stop, Drop and Roll if your clothes catch fire.  Now that deaths due to home fires have decreased, it’s time for everyone to face the next big problem: Zero Resiliency. 


What is Zero Resiliency? It means that the majority of people today depend on the community or federal government to help them in the event of a natural disaster, even though every municipality, state and the federal government tells people to have an evacuation plan ready and the supplies needed to survive for 72 hours on their own before outside help arrives. Billions of dollars have been spent in an attempt to educate people about disaster planning, but few are taking action.


Think about it…If a natural disaster were to strike your location right now, this moment, are you prepared? Do you have your evacuation plan mapped out? Do you have a three-day supply of food and water available for each member of your family? Is your emergency backpack stocked and ready to go? For most people, the answer to each of these questions is “no.” 


Unfortunately, having zero resiliency is a byproduct of our current economy. Many businesses have and promote a “just in time” mentality. Even marketers encourage consumers to adopt a “just in time” outlook. Few people these days buy a week’s worth of groceries anymore. Instead, they stop by the grocery store on their way home from work to purchase enough food for the evening meal and next morning’s breakfast. As such, few people are prepared to self-sustain in times of disaster.


Rinse, Lather, & Repeat: New Training for a New Era

Since educating adults about disaster preparedness is having the same non-reaction as the old fire safety messages that targeted adults, it’s time to shift our educational dollars to what we know works, which is to teach the youngest of Americans—the kindergarteners. That’s where Rinse, Lather and Repeat comes in. 


Rinse, Lather, and Repeat is a new program that seeks to duplicate the successes of the National Fire Safety Council’s Stop, Drop, and Roll program. Like its predecessor, Rinse, Lather and Repeat is a one-week educational curriculum for kindergarten-age students that focuses on five core activities:


  1. Preparation and maintenance of a three-day survival pack.
  2. Knowledge of where to obtain reliable news and evacuation instructions.
  3. Memorizing local and out-of-state phone numbers for friends and family.
  4. The location of local shelters and local evacuation routes.
  5. The appropriate self-decontamination procedure whether at home or at a hospital or other community facility.


One of the core activities children will engage in during the Rinse, Lather, and Repeat program is the hands-on preparation of a three-day “Go-Pack.” The kit assembled by the children will include: 


  • Three days of clothing including underwear;
  • Thee days of energy bars or shelf-stable packaged food items chosen by the child;
  • Three days of water;
  • One week’s toiletries, including toothbrush, hairbrush, toothpaste and toilet paper;
  • A two-week medication case (without medications);
  • A USB flash drive containing medical records and a document inventory device;
  • One roll of quarters (for pay phones, which are self-powered);
  • Photos of each family member;
  • List of each family member with age and contact telephone numbers ( including cell phone);
  • List of two local and two out-of-town family members or friends with addresses and phone numbers;
  • Backpack to place all items within.


In addition to assembling the backpack, children will review and have a listing of local information sources such as:  TV stations and the radio stations that broadcast TV stations when TV is not available, weather services, local access cable, local government EOC numbers and local print media. They will also memorize the four family and friends with their associated phone numbers, as well as practice the use of the various information channels that they chose.  


Homework assignments that get the parents involved will include learning what television and radio stations to listen to for shelter information and in those communities with permanent shelters, mapping the location of the closest appropriate evacuation shelter for the family. In some communities this may be the family “safe room” be it an interior bathroom or basement.  In other communities it may represent a Red Cross shelter or even a special-needs shelter established by local government or health department. 


Finally, children will learn the crux of the Rinse, Lather, and Repeat program, which is how to wash hands and how to shower. These simple methods of hygiene teach the child how to decontaminate themselves and stop the spread of disease. Major contamination can occur in a number of ways, including raw sewage if their neighborhood or town floods, household chemicals like bleach or cleaning products accidentally splashed on them, an industrial accident or explosion in their community, or even a biological or chemical weapon scare. More common “contamination” occurs every flu season and with outbreaks of diseases such as SARS.


Unfortunately, health care workers still struggle with how to decontaminate a child. After all, we teach children never to talk to strangers or get naked in public, so you can’t expect them to disrobe in front of people in bio-suits and walk naked through a decontamination unit. However, every child can be taught how to take a proper shower, which is really the focus of decontamination. They will learn the proper way to Rinse, Lather (not just wander around in the bathtub as so many kids do), and then Repeat the process at least one time.


Therefore, the steps to and logic behind Rinse, Lather, and Repeat are as follows:


  1. Disrobe, thus removing 87% of most contaminants;
  2. Rinse their body thoroughly, rubbing all portions of their body with their hands to remove any contamination (now reducing contamination by 97 – 99%);
  3. Lather well, utilizing soap, shampoo or other decontamination supplies, to effectively wash every inch of their body. This means total-body washing and scrubbing every part of their body well with their hands;
  4. Repeat the rinse, fully removing all soap or other decontamination materials and Repeat the process if needed.


The Rinse, Lather and Repeat process can be taught utilizing comic books and/or coloring books with children in the classroom while fully dressed. In addition to providing the necessary skills to care for themselves in the event of a contamination accident, children will also learn to maintain good hygiene by learning a skill seldom taught by their parents: how to take an effective shower. This skill will also assist healthcare in the future by providing basic decontamination skills to children that they will carry into adulthood and pass on, just as the Stop, Drop & Roll program.


Rinse, Lather and Repeat week will culminate with the children taking their new three-day survival packs home to be placed proudly in a readily-available location. Now the child is ready and feels confident in the event that they must shelter in place or evacuate with the family.


Implement Rinse, Lather, and Repeat Today

Our goal is to have every school in the United States implement the Rinse, Lather and Repeat curriculum. As we have seen with recent disasters such as the four hurricanes that struck and re-struck the same areas in Florida, Hurricane Katrina, tornadoes, train accidents releasing chemicals, and so forth, we need a catalyst to change people’s perception of why they should be prepared. People need to understand and feel empowered that being prepared for a disaster gives them the confidence to handle emergency situations in a much more effective manner.  Rinse, Lather and Repeat is our best defense to drive the message home.   It can become the best opportunity to augment the level of disaster preparedness by increasing self-reliance and the individual resilience of each American citizen.

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High Alert Institute

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Lake Wales, FL 33898
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