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



Taking a Stand against Workplace Stress Five Steps to Reduce Stress for Your Employees & Customers

by | Aug 15, 2020

Important research from the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed leading Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) in homes and businesses, which are: environmental noise, water quality, and air quality. All three pose serious health risks to businesses, employees and customers. Fortunately, there are a number of methods, many of which are inexpensive, for business owners to consider to improve health in often-polluted business environments. This article will discuss five of them.

Reduce Ambient Noise

Ambient, or background, noises include traffic, alarms, electrical noise from devices such as air conditioners and motors, even people speaking very loudly. The prevention or reduction of ambient noise is important in reducing environmental noise. 

Guidelines based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) analysis of SDoH found that the relative risk for death by heart attack or stroke increases 14% for every 10 dBA increase above the annual average of 45 dBA daytime and 35 dBA nighttime. Since the typical business office “cruises along” at 55 dBA, it’s easy to see the negative effects that noise is having on employees’ health!

In her “What Causes Hearing Loss” blog, Jane Brody says that tens of millions of Americans have permanent hearing loss caused by the everyday noise that we take for granted. Since a large part of our time is spent at work, businesses are a good place to look for ways to reduce ambient noise. The following are among suggestions for business owners:

* Get innovative with office layout. For instance, desks situated close together in clusters help compartmentalize noise. In other cases, noisy office equipment such as copy machines, printers, and fax machines can be situated in a separate room away from employees.

* Use noise-cancelling headphones. If redesigning the office is not feasible, perhaps the easiest way to reduce office space in an open office space is with a pair of high-quality noise cancelling headphones. Some quality brands even boast 100% noise reduction. 

* Don’t overlook plants! Well-placed plants have proven effective in reducing noise levels in open office settings. The larger the plant, the bigger the impact, not to mention the obvious aesthetic benefits and overall impact on air quality. 

Install Sound/Echo Absorbing Surfaces

* Carpeting, and vinyl flooring in particular, are ideal flooring solutions for noise reduction.

* Sound-absorbing wall panels are incredibly effective at combatting noise pollution in the workplace.

* Wall partitions and cubicles have helped companies of all sizes separate employees and reduce overall office noise. Even low-level wall partitions that don’t completely close someone off have proven effective.

* Acoustic ceiling clouds, also known as sound baffles and sound clouds, are suspended from ceilings to help meet architectural design goals and reduce ambient noise. They come in a variety of materials, sizes, and shapes.

Install a Cartridge Water Filter

Cartridge water filters, or water filtration cartridges, have significant health benefits due to being made out of a substance that either trap, adsorbs, or modifies the contaminants in the water. There are many types of filters. Here are a few for business and home owners to consider:

* Sediment filters. This is a mechanical filter with a rating that will indicate what size particles it will (and won’t) remove. There are two types of filter ratings: nominal and absolute. A nominal rating indicates the smallest particle size the filter should remove or reduce. An absolute filter rating refers to a certified reduction rate, usually 99.9%. As their name implies, these filters are most often used to remove sediments and are commonly used if the water comes from a lake or river. 

* Activated carbon filters. These filters are particularly effective at removing pollutants that create unpleasant taste, color, and odor in water. These fast-acting filters can eliminate or reduce the levels of chlorine by-products, pesticides, herbicides, and other organic and industrial chemicals. There are two forms of carbon filters in general use: granular and block. Carbon granules are roughly the size of coarse sand while carbon block is finely powdered carbon compressed into a solid mass.

Install a SMART Air Exchange Ventilation System

“Self-Monitoring Analysis And Reporting Technology,” better known as SMART Technology, now exists in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, and it’s emerging as an extremely efficient way of saving energy (and in turn money) for home and business owners alike.

As but one example, a SMART system can focus on a single room, such as circulating air in an unused room that a traditional HVAC would continue to either cool (or heat) even though no one is using the room. SMART systems control, or tie, each aspect of the HVAC system together for maximum efficiency. And a system with increased air circulation and distribution is not only healthier, it’s also more efficient, meaning the owner will save money on utility bills.

Change Air Filters Regularly and Often

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. This is even more important during the long flu season when many of us spend more time indoors. 

This is where air filters come in by removing those contaminants and other pollutants from the air your employees and customers are breathing. Change your building’s air filters regularly. At least every three months is recommended.


When one considers the high cost that absenteeism due to illness has on a business’s bottom line, reducing ambient noise, and installing sound-absorbing surfaces, cartridge water filters, SMART air systems, and changing air filters regularly (and often), are investments that will reap dividends. What is your business to improve the health of employees and customers?

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High Alert Institute

4800 Ben Hill Trail
Lake Wales, FL 33898
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