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



Outrage or Enthusiasm: The Choice is Yours!

by | Jan 17, 2008

Businesses large and small want happy customers, happy employees and happy vendors. Regardless of whether a multinational corporation or a “Mom & Pop” store, enthusiastic supporters are a marketing asset while a single outraged person is a liability. Studies have shown that the average “satisfied customer” refers five people while the average “dissatisfied customer” finds 11 people to chase away. 


Businesses and whole industries spend huge sums of money meeting customer expectations and even larger sums of money raising those expectations further. It is a never ending chase and if you lose, twice as many people will hear from the disappointed than ever heard from the content.


The key then is to manage the factors that determine the satisfaction of customers, employees and vendors with their experiences interacting with a business.


Let Your World PIVOT Around Them!

When people are born, they believe that they are the center of the universe. As children grow and mature into adulthood, they slowly learn that the world does not revolve around them. Businesses seek as part of their customer service approach to make customers feel that again the world revolves around them. Rather than reverting to childhood, a business seeking enthusiastic supporters should make the experience PIVOT around them.


The PIVOT model provides a simple mathematical approach to understanding and even predicting the societal and individual response to an experience. The PIVOT model is another lesson learned from the disaster field office. PIVOT stands for:


P = Probability

I = Impact

V = Vulnerability

O = Outrage

T = Tolerance


Each component of the PIVOT model places a numerical value on the factors that determine the response to the experience a business provides. It is a predictor of “Customer Satisfaction.” To apply the PIVOT model each component must be understood.



Probability = The likelihood of an experience occurring (0% to 100%)


Drawn from traditional risk management and actuarial sciences, the probability of an experience or event occurring is a value based on the historical frequency of an experience or event occurring. Most simply, probability is the number of times an experience or event occurs divided by the total number of possible experience and events.



Impact = The impact of an experience (positive or negative) on a scale 0 to 3 

(0 = No Impact; 1 = Minimal Impact; 2 = Moderate Impact; 3 = Significant Impact)


It is often said that no event or experience is without impact, but assigning a value to the degree of impact is often complicated. The PIVOT model deals with response to an experience or event and is inherently subjective, thus Impact is a subjective measure based on past occurrences of the experience or event.



Vulnerability = The susceptibility to the impact on a scale 0 to 3 

(0 = None; 1 = Minimal; 2 = Moderate; 3 = Significant)


Like Impact, Vulnerability is a historically based, subjective measure of the susceptibility to the Impact. Obviously, if something has occurred previously but had not Impact, the Vulnerability is zero; however, when an Impact has occurred in the past, people have an inherent and subjective sense of Vulnerability which can be subjectively measured.



Outrage = The perception of the experience on a scale -3 to 3


Outrage was first identified as a component of risk communications by Paul Sandman, PhD. In his model, Sandman identified two factors that influenced and predicted the need for risk communications in the event of a business debacle, Hazard & Outrage. Sandman found that while a high perceived Hazard necessitates risk communication, low Outrage mitigated that need while high Outrage necessitated risk communication even with a low perceived Hazard. 


Sandman never quantitated the level of Outrage, but in the PIVOT model, Outrage is a calculated value. Calculation of Outrage requires an understanding of two additional values, Expectation and Satisfaction.


Expectation = Perception of what reality SHOULD BE on a scale 0 to 3

(0 = None; 1 = Minimal; 2 = Moderate; 3 = High)


Satisfaction = Perception of what reality ACTUALLY IS on a scale 0 to 3

(0 = None; 1 = Minimal; 2 = Moderate; 3 = High)


Understanding Expectation and Satisfaction, Outrage can be calculated:


Outrage = Expectation – Satisfaction  


The interesting result of calculating Outrage is the insight this provides. Since Expectation is the perception of what reality should be and Satisfaction is the perception of what reality actually is, and given that a business cannot change people’s perception, Outrage is actually the difference between Expectation and REALITY.



Tolerance = The sentiment regarding the experience or event.


Tolerance is the measure degree of Enthusiasm or Anger in response to an experience or event and like the calculation of Outrage, calculating Tolerance gives tremendous insight into why seemingly bad business news results in good while seemingly good business news can become a full fledged business disaster. To calculate Tolerance, first calculate Hazard and Risk.


Hazard = Impact + Vulnerability


Risk = Probability x Hazard

        = Probability x (Impact + Vulnerability)


Having previously calculated Outrage and now having quantitated Risk, Tolerance is simply calculated, noting that if Outrage is a negative number, the positive number (absolute value) is used to calculate Tolerance.


Tolerance = (Risk)|Outrage|


Therefore Tolerance (anger or enthusiasm) equals Risk raised to the power of Outrage.


Choosing Epidemic Enthusiasm

A look at two classic historical business examples demonstrates how accurate and powerful the PIVOT model is for influencing public and individual sentiment.


McNeil Pharmaceuticals is the textbook example of risk communications after the cyanide contamination of their Tylenol product. Applying the PIVOT model, the probability of dying from a contaminated pill 100% and the impact if such an event occurred and the vulnerability were both high thus each scoring 3 points. Calculating for Hazard and Risk yields a Hazard score of 6 with a Risk score of 6. The Expectation of the general public was also high (3 points) as there had never before been a significant problem with a McNeil product.


When the company responded by publically withdrawing the product from the market and pledging to not return to store shelves until safety could be assured, Satisfaction was moderate (2 points). But, when McNeil made good on their promises, Satisfaction was high (3 points). Outrage, which could have crippled the company’s return to the marketplace, was effectively reduced to zero.


When Outrage is zero (Expectation = Satisfaction), the Tolerance score always equal to 1. (Mathematically, any number raised to the power of zero equals 1).


The textbook contrast to McNeil / Tylenol is New Coke / Classic Coke. The Coca-Cola Company dominated the cola market for decades when market research began to show that Pepsi cola was eroding a small percentage of Coke’s market share. In a carefully researched and planned effort to regain that small market share loss, the Coca-Cola Company reformulated Coca-Cola. Again applying the PIVOT model, the probability of bringing the new product to market was 100%, but market research and focus groups had found that the Impact would be minimal (1 point) although the Vulnerability to the Impact moderate (2 points). Calculating or Hazard and Risk yields a Hazard score of 3 and a Risk score of 3.


When the new formulation arrived on store shelves, Expectation was high (3 points), but Satisfaction with the new formula was nonexistent (0 points). The Tolerance score of 27 predicts what followed. Consumers began to hoard “old Coke” and picket against “New Coke.” Re-examining the anticipated Impact and Vulnerability shows that loyalty to the taste of the “old Coke” formula meant that the both Impact and Vulnerability were actually each 3 points, thus Hazard was 6, Risk was 6 and Tolerance was 216 (highest possible score). Despite the reintroduction of “old Coke” as “Classic Coke,” it was years before the Satisfaction score rose and the Tolerance score exponentially fell.


When Outrage is a positive number (Expectation > Satisfaction), the Tolerance score is a reflection of the Anger (negative image) felt towards the business.


But this is not the end of the New Coke / Classic Coke story. An unintended, but not unexpected beneficiary of the Coca-Cola Company’s misstep was Pepsi cola. Regardless of the success or failure of the new Coca-Cola formulation, the probability of the product making to store shelves was 100%. Had Coca-Cola’s market research been correct, the Impact on Pepsi cola would have been high (3 points) and as the number two product in the marketplace, Pepsi’s vulnerability was also high (3 points). Pepsi cola had a lot riding on Coke’s reformulation with a Hazard score of 6 and a Risk score of 6.


When “New Coke” disappointed Coke consumers, Pepsi consumers were heartened by the fact that Pepsi was NOT being reformulated. The Expectation for a change in flavor was nonexistent (0 points) while Satisfaction remained high (3 points). For Pepsi cola, the Outrage score was negative (-3) yielding a Tolerance score of 216, but unlike Coca-Cola customers, Pepsi customers were predictably enthusiastic about their preferred product. Same event, same reality, different outcome based on perspective and expectation.


When Outrage is a negative number (Satisfaction > Expectation), the Tolerance score is a reflection of the Enthusiasm (positive image) felt towards the business.


Manage What is Manageable

Ultimately, Probability, Impact, Vulnerability, Perception and Reality cannot be changed. Of all the factors that determine public and individual sentiment and predict anger versus enthusiasm, Expectation is the only factor that can be changed before and to a lesser degree during an event or experience. Thus if Expectation can be preemptively made to matched reality, Outrage is changed. Through expectation management, Anger is downgraded to Concern; Concern is converted to Opportunity, and Opportunity is upgraded to Enthusiasm.


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