Weather Preparedness Tips for People with Hearing Loss

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How prepared are you for a weather emergency? If a major storm, or earthquake hits the city, do you already know what you will do? Disasters are always unexpected, but taking the time to prepare for an emergency before it happens can give you peace of mind to help you stay safe during a crisis.

Hearing the Alerts

A weather emergency is stressful on it’s own but if you suffer from hearing loss and emergency situation could become a challenge unless you take extra precautions and accommodate your hearing needs. Notifications about emergencies or crisis are often broadcast through radio or TV announcements, or through live streaming reports. These often don’t include closed captioning, and aren’t accessible for those with hearing loss. While you might understand that there’s a storm on the way, it may be hard to understand the instructions you need to hear to prepare for the emergency, know when it will arrive, or what areas will be affected.

Sign up for Wireless Alerts

If you’re worried about missing alerts, sign up for the wireless alerts system that will send emergency alerts to your Smartphone. You’ll be notified by vibrations or flashing lights so you won’t miss important text messages, and will be kept in the loop about everything happening around you. Sign up for the Federal Communications Commission’s Wireless Alerts System. This Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system has been in operation since 2012, and notifies Americans across the country about natural disasters, dangerous weather, other emergencies, and even missing children’s reports. These alerts are location specific, so you’ll only get texts that pertain to the area where you live and threats from the elements that will directly affect you.

Weather Preparedness Kit

If you’re about to be hit by a weather emergency, you might not have time to get prepared. That’s why having a weather preparedness kit is crucial for your safety and peace of mind. Never forget your hearing aids! If they are not in your ears, make sure to put them in the same place every time and make sure that place is easy to access. If an emergency happens at night be sure that your hearing aids are the first thing you grab. Pack extra batteries into your kit to ensure you don’t run out of power. A four week supply of batteries is ideal incase it is hard to order more during a serious crisis. Having a pad of paper and a pencil on hand is also important, in case your hearing aids are malfunctioning, or you simply can’t hear what someone is trying to tell you. Include a flashlight in your preparedness kit, and a sealed container or bag to put your hearing aids in so that they’ll be safe in case of excess rain or flooding.

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.

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.

My Hearing Centers

If you are you struggling with hearing loss and you want more information on how to be prepared for emergencies, contact us at My Hearing Centers. We can help you find the perfect hearing aids that will match your hearing needs, give you back your confidence and freedom, and help you hear in the face of any obstacle that’s thrown your way.