Stay ready for anything with these preparedness tips.
No matter where you live, knowing how to prepare for an emergency like a fire or natural disaster can save you a lot of time and stress down the line. When it comes to emergency preparation advice for people with hearing loss, it means there are a few extra things to consider. The most important items on your preparation checklist should revolve around communication, emergency awareness, and other things that might be more challenging with hearing loss.
Let’s look at this emergency preparation advice for people with hearing loss so you and your family can stay informed and prepared in case of an emergency!
Store extra batteries for assistive listening devices
If you wear hearing aids or use other kinds of assistive listening devices, extra batteries are some of the best things you can have in your emergency kit. Also, look into portable battery charging packs — you’ll have to charge them while you still have electricity, but then you can use them to get extra power to your devices for a while.
Keep flashlights nearby for speech reading
Flashlights are a standard part of emergency prep kits, but they’re even more critical for those with hearing loss. Lip reading is often a part of overall communication strategies, and flashlights let you see people’s faces if it’s dark and the power is out. They also help you read written materials in the dark and, of course, know where you’re going.
Make a plan for written communication
Keeping notepads and pens around your home, car, purse, and more is one of the simplest ways to ensure you can still communicate with people in an emergency. Whiteboards are another excellent option. You can also pre-print sheets of paper with messages you can give to first responders/strangers. This way, you can easily notify people that you have hearing loss and tell them about communication methods you prefer and any assistive devices you use. You can also include other important info like emergency contact details, medications you take, and more.
Sign up for emergency text alerts
Emergency text alerts exist on the federal, state, and local levels. Sometimes they’re automatic based on your phone’s location. Other times, you’ll need to sign up manually — try searching online for your state or county plus “emergency text alerts” to see what’s out there. Here are six examples of weather text alerts you can sign up for.
Get a weather alert radio
If you don’t want to rely on a cell phone, get a weather radio to keep you up to date! Most weather alert radios have text displays that will tell you if something serious is happening in your area, like severe storms or tornadoes.
Install visual alarm systems
If you can’t hear smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, it’s still vital that you know what they’re trying to alert you about! There are hearing loss-friendly home security systems that can visually alert you about things like smoke and fire, flood, carbon monoxide, attempted break-ins, and other safety concerns.
Make plans with your support network
Family, friends, and neighbors are some of the best emergency preparedness resources anyone can have! It’s so helpful to know that there are people who can check in on you and know about your communication needs. Before an emergency happens, talk about your contingency plans with the people around you (especially if you live alone). Whether it’s a simple power outage or something more serious like a fire or hurricane, you want to know you’re not alone!
Did you know that CapTel captioned telephones can help people with hearing loss easily converse with 9-1-1 operators when needed? With a CapTel phone, you can read everything being said by the person on the other end. Explore our selection of digital and analog captioned telephones here.