Emergency Preparation for People with Hearing Loss
Written by: Tricia Alvaro Schustrin, Certified Audiology Assistant
Living in a region prone to hurricanes, it is common to have effective plans for emergencies. It is important for those with hearing loss to also include hearing and communicating as a part of those plans. Make sure you can effectively listen and communicate in a time of crisis. Being proactive and prepared is key.
Prepare yourself by making checklists and gather supplies; such as canned food, flashlights with extra batteries, first aid kits and medications with list of dosages. If you are staying in your home, make sure you have a safe zone with interior walls and no windows. Make index cards with short phrases on them, “I wear hearing aids” or “please face me and speak clearly, I have a hearing loss” and keep a pen and paper handy as well. Part of these supplies should always include extra hearing aid batteries, with waterproof containers, a radio so you can listen to emergency instruction and effectively communication with family, friends and, if needed, authority personnel.
Always inform yourself via news or social media and make sure you know where the local shelters are. Let friends, family and neighbors know if you are staying in your home or where you are going, exchanging house keys for emergencies. Keeping a network of your contacts, designate a leader and include people who are out of town and coworkers is always a good idea so that everyone can keep in contact with each other easier. Keeping in touch during the emergencies is extremely important, but keep in mind you may be unable to use internet and/or electricity.
We at Hearing Partners of South Florida care about you and hope you Stay Safe!