Weather Preparedness Tips for People with Hearing Loss

Dr. Kevin H. Ivory

Dr. Kevin Ivory, Au.D., CCC-A received his Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Audiology degree from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, one of the top 10 audiology residential programs in the country.
Dr. Kevin H. Ivory

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Murphy’s law is a popular epigram that states that “things will go wrong in any given situation, if you give them a chance,” or more commonly, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.” While this isn’t scientifically proven, it is always best to be safe and prepare for an emergency should one occur. One never knows when a devastating earthquake, mudslide, wild fire or other natural disasters can strike. It is important to take the necessary precautions to remain as safe as possible. For those with hearing loss, there may be additional safeguards that can be added to your family’s emergency plans. If you are hearing impaired it is best to be prepared for any emergency that could present itself. Below are some simple things you can do to make an unexpected emergency go as smooth as possible.

Register for available emergency alert systems

These days, most emergency alert notifications are sent via text message, which works great for people who have a hearing loss, because Smart phones use vibration and visual cues to alert the user. Some systems are automatically installed on your Smartphone and others require you to opt-in. Make sure you are signed up for all emergency alert systems that can help alert you on a federal, state and county level, and ensure they are all sent via text message. For a list of some national alert systems and to sign up, visit: https://www.ready.gov/alerts.

Prepare your emergency supply

It is best to pack two kits—one kit for your home and one portable kit in case you need to evacuate. Both kits will contain similar items, but some (like water and snacks) will differ in quantity. Include:

  • Copies of important documents like insurance cards, photo IDs and contact details of your family/emergency network. Keep these items in a waterproof container.
  • Flashlights with extra batteries to help you navigate and lip-read. Bring a whistle or bell to get someone’s attention.
  • First aid supplies, including an antiseptic cream, painkillers, bandages, and cleansing wipes.
Keep extra batteries with you

This one is simple, but all too often overlooked or forgotten. It is wise to be cautious if you’re a hearing aid user. Keep an entire month’s worth of hearing aid batteries with you in your emergency kit. It is also important to have a waterproof container to keep your batteries or spare hearing aids dry in case of extreme weather.

Have a backup communication system handy

Along with your regular emergency kit items be sure to include an alternate mode of communication should your hearing aids be left behind or the batteries die. Personal Sound Amplification Devices are great backup options because they can be purchased over the counter, are relatively affordable, and work to amplify all sounds on an even plane. These devices can come in handy in an emergency

Create a list of your health needs

Your emergency kit should also include a list of your medical and health needs such as information about allergies or other chronic conditions. Write down any medications you’re taking, as well as the daily dosages. Include your blood type, and any other health concerns you think would be important to know in case of emergency. If you’re having trouble hearing or communicating with someone, you’ll have a comprehensive list to make sure you stay safe.

Create an emergency network

Emergencies are much easier to handle when you have help. Designate at least two people (friends, family, caregivers, neighbors, coworkers) to be part of your emergency network. The people in your network will stay in touch during an emergency, have spare keys to each other’s homes, and know where to find emergency supplies. Your network must be familiar with your hearing loss as well as the hearing devices that you use.

We can help!

If you have hearing loss and want help developing a plan to keep you and your hearing aids safe during an emergency, contact us at La Canada for more on these and other tips. We can help you make sure your hearing aids are in the best working condition and help you put together an emergency plan, so you can relax in knowing you are ready for any emergency that comes your way.