Monday, August 27, 2012

Be all that you can be...

Thanks to my friend Brian Tishuk for posting this advice on how to reduce the risk of illness and disease through better life style choices.  This is my favorite type of list, since so many of the items on the list are easy choices.  And most of the items on the list have estimates of the benefits provided.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The first hour of your day

I very much like this article from Fast Company magazine.  It suggests new forms of personal risk management.  Most of those interviewed try to leave their email alone, and either work on a combination of physical and motivational exercise, or on a large project that requires heavy lifting.

There's nothing lost by giving this approach a try.  As one of the interviewees points out, if there is something urgent in email that first hour or so, you will undoubtedly get a text or phone call.

It's certainly difficult not to want to clean that mailbox down first thing.   But I'm going to see what I can do to shift more completely to this model.   Not turning on my computer or looking at email on my iPhone before I start to exercise might be harder than I think, but I'll give it a shot.

Monday, August 20, 2012

You and an active shooter

None of us ever wants to think we'll be caught in a situation where mass shootings can take place.  Yet such events are becoming more common, taking place in places we have thought to be safe, such as shopping malls, schools and movie theatres.

Here's a fairly graphic video shot by the Department of Homeland Security to provide information on what to do if you are caught in an active shooter situation. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Managing risks around extreme heat

We are beginning to look more like the rest of the United States.  Washington State has raging wildfires on the east side of the state, while Seattle has finally achieved weather that sits at the lower end of what the rest of the country has felt.

Here's the message from the King County Department of Public Health that will apply if you live in extremely hot areas of the country.

"The National Weather Service has announced an excessive heat watch for this Thursday and Friday, with temperatures that will rise into the low to mid 90s. When outside temperatures are very high, the danger for heat-related illnesses rises. Older adults, young children, and people with mental illness and chronic diseases are at particularly high risk. 

 Please share the following tips with your communities so they can stay cool and safe:
Stay cool:
  • Spend more time in air conditioned places. If you don't have air conditioning, consider visiting a mall, movie theater or other cool public places.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun.
  • Dress in lightweight clothing.
  • Check up on your elderly neighbors and relatives and encourage them to take these precautions, too.
Drink liquids:
  • Drink plenty of water. Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol and large amounts of sugar because they can actually de-hydrate your body.
  • Have a beverage with you as much as possible, and sip or drink frequently. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink.
If you go outside:
  • Limit the time you're in direct sunlight.
  • Do not leave infants, children, people with mobility challenges and pets in a parked car, even with the window rolled down.
  • Avoid or reduce doing activities that are tiring, or take a lot of energy.
  • Do outdoor activities in the cooler morning and evening hours.
  • Avoid sunburn. Use a sunscreen lotion with a high SPF (sun protection factor) rating.
More tips in English, Spanish, Chinese Vietnamese, Russian and Korean are available on our Beat the Heat webpage at

Water safety
Some people turn to local rivers to cool off, but drowning is a real concern. Please use caution and wear a personal flotation device (PFD) on the water. Find deals on affordable lifejackets at  And if you want to swim, choose a safer location – visit a local pool or lifeguarded beach instead."


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What you see should be what you get

We're in the process of overhauling our website navigation and content, and adding some new features as well.  The assignment I've had for the last couple of years -- to be sure to get photos of me speaking at conferences -- has not been a complete success.  It's hard in such an environment to get high resolution photos.  See for yourself.

Shared Assessments Summit, Boston, 2011
2007 Critical Infrastructure World Congress Keynote Panel
University of Washington Institute for Innovation in Information Management (I3M)
2007 Seattle Leaders Meeting with DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff
July 2012 Executive Women's Forum

July 2012 NORCOMM-FEMA National Resiliency Conference
November 2011 Hall of Fame induction, with Jacqueline MacBride
Now you can see why we're going to take a shot at recording video this afternoon!  Like everyone else, I like to manage my personal risks.  Lauren Du Graf is in charge of today's project, which is part of the next iteration of our website.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Annie's review of the Washington Mutual book, "The Lost Bank"

Evidently I forgot to post my Risk Universe magazine review of "The Lost Bank" book by Kirsten Grind!  So, for several of you who have been asking, here it is.  I welcome feedback from you about the book or my review.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Managing travel risk -- new approaches

Here's a wonderful article from the New York Times that points at a couple of airports and hotels that now offer extra opportunities to exercise while on the road -- both in the airport and in the hotel room.

On my last trip I was able to take advantage of an earlier article on Silicon Valley travelers' suggestions, and took Super Lysine+ before, during and after the trip.  I was also extra careful with wiping down surfaces that carry germs -- tray table, arms of my airplane seat, magazines, etc.

Only thing I forgot was the personal sleep kit -- earplugs, eye mask and sinus irrigation bottle.  You can be sure that they'll be going with me to Palm Beach later this month!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Heat and hydration

For us in the Northwest, who have not been suffering like other parts of the country, higher temperatures and sunshine are a special present.

But over half of this country is still blanketed in unusually high heat and, in some places, drought conditions.  Risks from heat are high for both people and animals.  Do make sure that you are drinking water all day long, and that you keep moving around.

Do also pay careful attention to leaving ground floor windows or doors unlocked or open.  Open doors and windows present burglars with irresistible opportunities.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Orders of importance where your data is concerned

Yesterday I posted an article by Walt Mossberg that described four different ways to store your important documents, photos and data so that it is always available, even if your computer fails, or is lost or stolen.

In the first chapter of the book, I talk about how having a fire in our home many years ago has caused me to document the contents of our home photographically and to store that file in the cloud.  I will always be able to retrieve that information from any other computer, so I have also included other files I might need in case something happened to our home -- a file with a list of life insurance policies, and copies of other legal documents that are important.

Please consider taking a day or two to ensure that your data will always be available to you.  Programs like Drop Box make it very easy to ensure you can always find what you need in time of crisis.

And I have one other form of protection:  I use Carbonite continuous online backup to ensure that all of the files on my computer -- not just the ones I have also copied up to Drop Box -- will always be retrievable.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

In the cloud

One of the hundreds of photos of shelves of books that I store in the cloud in case we ever need to claim assets for insurance purposes.

Here's a Walt Mossberg column from today's Wall Street Journal that lays out various options for storing your photos or other important options in the cloud.  He looks at four different programs that will do the trick in terms of offsite storage options.