It’s important to be prepared for an unexpected disaster, especially if you suffer from hearing loss. Here are tips to stay safe during and in the aftermath of these circumstances.
If there is a disaster - be it man-made, natural, or if there’s an emergency at home - you need to be prepared. Those who have hearing loss may not be able to hear alarms or announcements that will help you during a disaster, and you need to take care of your hearing for your overall health.
Follow these tips to make sure you - and your hearing aids - stay protected during a disaster.
Pack an Emergency Kit
Instead of rushing to find what you need during an emergency, keep an emergency kit with a flashlight, batteries, water, food, and other important items that are necessary.
Those with hearing loss should also keep extra hearing aid batteries, a container that is waterproof to store your hearing aids, a pen and paper if you need to communicate with anyone and you can’t hear, and the names and phone numbers of your hearing aid manufacturer and hearing care provider if you need a repair for your hearing aids.
Set up Special Alarm Systems specifically for the Hearing Impaired
You, or a loved one, may not be able to hear a standard smoke alarm. There are special alarms for those with varying degrees of hearing loss. These alarms may use very loud noises, vibrations, or even a bright strobe light to get your attention. These accessories might be available for free at your local fire department.
Make sure You’re Connected
Those who are hearing impaired can still stay informed during an emergency using the proper devices. For example, a TTY, or text-based telephone, translates phone messages sent from your local police department into a text display. The NOAA Weather Radio services supply telecommunication devices for those who have hearing loss.
Make it Easier for Responders to Locate You
Register your phone with smart911. This is a service where you give important information about yourself to 911 emergency operators, whether it’s your medical needs or the layout of your home. If you ever call them for an emergency, they will have that information and be able to reach you, while making sure your medical needs are cared for. You can also wear a medical alert pendant or bracelet to let first responders know that you need special services.
Store Your Hearing Aids in a Safe Place
Be sure to keep your hearing aids in a place that is easy to access, in case there is an emergency, particularly if you have to leave in a hurry in the middle of the night. If you keep them in the same location, like on your nightstand, it will be easier to find them during an emergency.
If you need extra batteries, or cleaning tools stop by one of our Pure Sound Hearing Aids and stock up your supply.