Hearing Loss + Emergencies – Be Prepared!

If you have hearing loss, it is important to prepare for emergencies and disasters!  Make sure you can communicate when the power goes out or you need to evacuate.  Take steps to ensure you are safe and can understand in case of emergency!

Emergency and hearing loss

Hearing loss and emergencies

  1.  Have a communication plan.  Your normal ways of communicating may not be available.  Think how you will communicate with family, rescuers, medical personnel.
    1.  Have paper and pen for writing down what you need (for those with severe hearing loss)
    2.  Post “Hearing Loss” sign on windows or doors to alert emergency rescue personnel
    3.  Use Facebook to communicate if cell phone and email are unavailable.  (Facebook Safety Check)
    4.  Install “In Case of Emergency” app on your smart phone.  This puts your emergency contacts, blood type, etc on your lock screen to be accessed without a password.
  2.  Special kit for hearing loss.
    1.  Waterproof container or bag
    2.  Extra hearing aid batteries and supplies
    3.  Cleaning tools (small toothbrush, tissue)
    4.  Flashlight and batteries – will help with lipreading in the dark
    5.  Old or spare hearing aids
    6.  Dry aid kit to absorb moisture
  3.  Establish an “emergency support network” (friends, family, caregivers).
    1. Be sure they know you have hearing loss and hearing aids
    2. Show them your hearing aids, batteries and how to operate
    3. Can they communicate with you in normal situations?
    4. Give them an extra kit for access in an emergency
  4.  Stay informed.
    1. Sign up for email or text alerts for weather emergencies and other incidents
    2. Written alerts are best for hard of hearing
    3. Keep a written list of emergency numbers for assistance
  5.  Know evacuation plans and routes as well as shelter locations.
    1. Find out how to reach by foot
    2. Bring hearing kit with you – to maintain communication

Being prepared will reduce the additional impact of hearing loss on an emergency.  Make your plan now before you need it!