Nobody can ever foresee an emergency happening. For many of us, it’s not something that we would particularly plan ahead for. The reality, however, is that emergencies happen. Extreme climate events, global pandemics and earthquakes can all happen out of seemingly nowhere.
All of us should have a plan for a potential emergency. However, for the millions of Americans with hearing loss, emergency preparation planning requires some extra considerations.
Emergency Preparation Tips for People with Hearing Loss
While you can plan ahead for known emergencies, like a hurricane or a blizzard, it’s not always possible to plan for unexpected crises like fire. Generally speaking, the more information people have on hand, the safer we’re able to keep ourselves.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an Emergency Preparedness and Response guide. This is a good first step to help you prepare in advance for an emergency. The American Red Cross suggests what you should include in your emergency kit. Find out by clicking here.
The two links above are a great first step to preparing for an emergency. If you are hard of hearing, there are a few extra things that you will want to consider.
Create an Emergency Network
An emergency network are the people that you intend to stay in contact with during an emergency. Designate at least 2 people as part of your emergency network. You may want to consider people from different homes. Bear in mind how far away you are from each other.
Make sure that your emergency network is aware of your hearing loss. You should all know where each other’s emergency preparation kit / supplies are kept. This ensures that if something happens, you have a network ready to help you.
Think ahead. How do you plan on communicating with your emergency network? Bear in mind that your normal means of communication may not be available. In cases like this, it can be best to default back to “legacy” technology. A good old-fashioned pen and paper.
Prepare cards in advance that highlight your hearing loss. You may also want to have cards with important phrases like “please face me when speaking” or “I am hard of hearing and wear hearing aids.”
Modern technology can also facilitate communication. Stay in touch with your emergency network through social media where possible. You can also install personal safety applications on your smartphone. These apps can include information like: blood type, details of your hearing loss, details of your hearing aid devices, emergency contacts.
Prepare Your Hearing Loss Emergency Kit
Your hearing loss emergency kit should sit with your normal emergency supplies. Consider what you need for your hearing devices. It’s best practice to have a kit that stays at home, as well as a portable kit. Things you should include in your hearing loss emergency kit include:
- Spare batteries
- Flashlights with extra batteries (this can help you lip read in the dark!)
- Portable battery charges
- Backup devices
Keep your hearing devices and batteries in a waterproof container. This ensures that in the event of a flooding emergency, your emergency kit is still effective! Other things you may want to include in your emergency kit include:
- Copies of important documents, such as photo ID, contact details of your emergency network / family, insurance cards.
- List of medication with the appropriate dosage.
- First aid supplies
None of us want to end up in an emergency situation. However, planning ahead can help you tackle the emergency as prepared as you can be.
Need Help? Have a Question? Contact Us Today!
The hearing healthcare professionals at Anderson Audiology would be happy to help. To book an appointment, call us on 702-997-2964. Alternatively, click here to request an appointment online.