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



Online Gadgets: Determining Business Needs versus WANTS

by | Apr 27, 2020

In today’s technological society, an increasing number of online “gadgets” are becoming available. The question becomes if it is something that is really NEEDED – versus a new-fangled device that is merely WANTED. For instance, John, an office manager, “needs” a smartphone, but he “wants” Android 10. Separating electronic needs from wants is commonly referred to as gaining control of one’s “Internet of things” (IoT).

Consider: There are all kinds of “smart” devices – digital assistants, automatic light switches, and thermostats to name a few – all of which are designed to help make everyone’s life a little easier. If it can be hooked up to the internet the smart device allows the user to see what is going on remotely. But does anyone really need all of these devices? What would John, for instance, do with them? And would John need ALL of them hooked up to the internet?

Just what is Their Attraction anyway?

Having the ability to access devices remotely is nothing new. Surveillance cameras and answering machines are two big-ticket items that consumers have been using for some time. But micro-controllers (really tiny computers) and WiFi connections are integrating more and more of these items into our lives. The attraction is that these devices give people the ability to access and control their personal space.

Let’s go back to “John”, who has a number of these gadgets – light switches, personal assistant, security camera, and printer – all of which can be controlled by an app on his phone or his computer at work. John can turn on the lights at his business as he walks into the office or have them turn on 10 minutes before he arrives. He can tell when an important document has printed via an app on his phone. John can even program his digital assistant to track his commutes; even turning on his computer when he’s still 30 minutes from work!

With all of these gadgets coming online, one cannot help but ask – “Is this really necessary?” and then, if the answer is “yes,” the next question naturally becomes – “Which particular model would be best?” The answer depends on what John, or anyone else, thinks he or she needs. The following sections will help decide.

What Can They Do for Me?

Devices can be considered to fall under two categories – Need and Convenience.

Being able to turn on the lights at John’s office remotely can be very handy when he is running behind in the morning or he is working late (at night) and hears noises. Extending the number of documents a printer can kick out remotely when John has a big presentation to make in the morning can be considered a nice thing to be able to do as well. This is where John needs to get a good grasp of what he would use this convenience for and how often it would benefit the business?

Does John really need to know that his printer is done printing before he gets to work? Or could he call “Julie” on his cell phone and ask her to finish his big printing job? How many documents are typically printed in a given day? Week? Or was the extensive printing that just crops up from time to time, that Julie could normally handle?

If the businessman can honestly answer that the device would be used enough to truly benefit from having it, then it is likely an actual need more than simply a convenient “nice to have”.

What Are Their Features?

The features that an Internet of Things (IoT) device provides also need to be considered when deciding whether it’s needed or just wanted. It’s one thing to be able to control a certain gadget or tell what it is doing remotely. But what if these things could take quick action in the event of a significant business situation?

* It’s one thing to be surprised that the pages in the extensive document were printed single-sided and not back to back. But what if that meant the printer ran out of paper. Would a printer with a SMART feature have prevented that?

* If someone breaks into the office after business hours, will the SMART surveillance system contact the police? 

* If an answering machine (i.e. voicemail) was hooked up to a SMART device, could it be turned off remotely if going on vacation? Or could messages be forwarded to someone else in the office?

* Finally, will the device tell the user when it needs service?

It is that ability for IoT gadgets to talk to each other, react to changing conditions and even potentially save the business in light of a burglary that can change wants to needs! Of course the next question is: “How much are these features worth to the business?”

How Much Money Do You Have?

Ah….there’s always a catch! But not necessarily a big one. As devices have more and more electronics built in, the greater features will grow but prices also tend to come down – over time. For now, the businessman may be stuck in the discernment stage but not to fret, as time goes on, the features of technology will tend to go up while the price comes down and other electronic developers enter the field. 

At the end of the day, the convenience, increased functionality, safety, and savings created by IoT SMART devices makes yesterday’s wants today’s needs.

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High Alert Institute

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