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



The ONE Thing I Have Done to Book More Business

by | May 8, 2008

I am sure that this is neither an original thought nor even an original way of phrasing it. In fact, I am willing to bet a fine dinner that I picked this particular phrase up as I was mentored in business. I am equally sure that long before choosing my first mentor I applied this rule in my other businesses. I have been blessed by a higher being and this advice, so here it is: 


“Feed your business and your business will feed you!”


The trick is what to feed your business. Many authors, speakers and consultants will tell you to feed your business money, lots of money. I’ve made this mistake and urge you to learn from my error. While money is needed to start a new business and make a business grow, undirected money is NOT the food your business needs.


Similarly, I have heard and read many claim that time is the critical element that feeds your speaking career. I’ve spent countless hours doing things I am really bad at because those more successful have told me that if I only spend more time making cold calls or selling product I’ll “get better at it.” I never did.


Over the years and 2 careers spanning over 20 years, I learned that you feed your business like you feed yourself. You feed your business a balanced diet from the 4 business food groups:



Public Relations




Many of you are wondering how I get four groups out of what most business owners see as two spending categories. Let me assure you, these MUST be 4 spending accounts in your ledger, if not you’ll have an empty calendar and an empty bank account.



The concept of the highly educated professional is not new. “Education to the Power of Eloquence” was the Nationals Speakers Association (NSA) theme in 2003-2004. “Education through Eloquence – Eloquence through Education” is my company’s catch phrase, but education is so much more than course work and technical expertise. Education includes investing in mentoring for you and being a mentor to others. It also includes becoming a member of your Professional Associations.


How much should you spend on education? I recommend 3% to 5% of your gross business income. If you are still in the first 2 to 3 years of a new business, double that! If you are still operating off your business loan or investment funds, 6% to 10% of total yearly expenses should be budgeted to education.

Public Relations:


When it comes to Public Relations (PR), Marketing and Advertising, the situation becomes a little more complex. The first problem is that in most small business owner’s minds, these are synonymous terms. THEY ARE NOT.


“Public Relations” is the establishment of you and your company as THE recognized expert within a specific demographic, geographic and/or professional group. This is also known as “Branding.” Thus Public Relations is the process of Branding. At this stage, it is almost irrelevant what your PR says as long as it positions you as the expert’s expert.


“Marketing” is association of your established brand with products and or services in the mind of a particular person, demographic, geographic and/or professional group. A “market” is that identifiable person, demographic, geographic and/or professional group. While Public Relations is the process of “Branding,” Marketing is the process of “establishing the Brand.”


“Advertising” is the establishment of a sense of need for a product or service in the mind of you market. Even if your market knows your name (brand) and your products/services, if they do not know that they need your products or services, they will never buy! On the other hand, if they “feel the need” and you have established your brand, they will seek you out.


So how much should you spend on PR, Marketing and Advertising? The answer reflects the progressive nature of this process. In this case, one sum of money should be allocated for the entire process of PR, Marketing and Advertising. At first, the entire amount will be spent on PR, with little Marketing or Advertising. Your target market needs to know you are the expert. As you become the recognized expert (1 to 2 years), spending on Marketing increases and spending on PR decreases. This will overlap the 1 to 2 years for PR. Finally, you will be established as the expert and your brand will be established in your market by your Marketing. This is when you will begin to shift spending to Advertising. Again their will be overlap, but don’t expect to spend much on advertising until at least 1 year after you begin a well planned PR program and at least 6 months after you begin a highly targeted marketing plan.


How much should you spend on PR, Marketing and Advertising? If you want success, spend 10% to 20% of gross revenue. Again, if you are a start-up still operating on loans or investment capital, budget 20% of that money per year for this process. The money I have spent on a well orchestrated Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising program has rewarded my career 10 fold. 


In each profession which I have built businesses, I have seen a direct correlation between the publicity and placements from my PR firm and my calls for speaking engagements.  I have been able to fill my calendar and raise my fees twice this year thanks to my PR firm’s work alone. Once I added Marketing to the mix, my calendar became so full that I actually had to block an entire 6 weeks for just one client (32 sites!) My advertising program is in its infancy, but I anticipate enough growth that I split the seminar portion of my business into a separate company and took two partners. We are already booked out 3 months.


Anyone who wants to increase their profits will get great results if they just remember:


Feed your business and your business will feed you!

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High Alert Institute

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