Weather Preparedness Tips for People with Hearing Loss

Weather Preparedness Tips for People with Hearing Loss

In hearing loss, Tips & Tricks by Laurie Duffy, M.S.

Laurie Duffy, M.S.

Winter months can bring extreme blizzards, while the summer, spring and fall can present it’s own inclement weather. A general rule is that if a weather emergency can occur it most likely eventually will.  For many of us, we have spent years dealing with extreme weather, however, for those of us who’s hearing isn’t as sharp as it used to be, these kinds of weather emergencies can bring on a whole new set of challenges. 

If you use hearing aids it’s important to have a plan in place for weather emergencies to ensure that you can hear through any emergency, whether it be a blizzard, tropical storm, hurricane or flooding. 

Alerts for Weather Emergencies

In these times the majority of people use a Smartphone or computer. This is one of the key ways that we are alerted about dangerous weather ahead of time. Many times this comes in the form of a buzzing or beep to alert us. 

For people with hearing issues it is important to make sure that your phone buzzes and or has flashing lights to alert you of a warning that you may miss with just auditory cues. For instance, hearing aids are not worn in bed, making it likely that an auditory alarm can be missed if sleeping. 

Make sure to have the alarms in your home set up to create light and vibration to wake you up to deal with a weather emergency in a safe amount of time. Many people with hearing issues choose to install alarms, which can shake the bed for a serious weather emergency to make sure you don’t sleep through a serious weather event.

Emergency Kit For Your Hearing Aids

It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit packed in case you have to leave your home or become trapped in your home due to inclement weather. Ideally you would pack a kit in your home and a similar kit in the car in case you are caught while out and about. 

For those who rely on hearing aids, it’s a great idea to pack extra batteries, chargers, charging ports and hearing aid cleaning supplies in your emergency kit to ensure that your hearing aids can work their best to help you navigate an emergency. A waterproof case for your hearing aids is also a good idea in case you are exposed to the elements and need to protect your hearing aids from moisture. 

Emergency Kit for the Hard of Hearing

However there is always the chance that your hearing aids malfunction, you run out of battery power or they become damaged or lost. If you prepare for this ahead of time you will not be at as much of a disadvantage. 

Make sure to pack some essential items in your kit to help you get through any emergency that could come up. A flashlight can help you see faces so you can read lips and read body language. In addition, pack a pen and paper in a zip lock bag that you can use to communicate. It may also be helpful to have the serial number and contact your hearing health care provider so new batteries and parts can be ordered for your hearing aids if they malfunction during a weather emergency.

Create An Emergency Network

Make a plan ahead of time with people close to you, as emergencies are much easier to handle when you have help. Have a list of important contacts, such as a neighbor, family member or friend who can be contacted to help you in case you end up in a dangerous situation. The people in your network will stay in touch during an emergency. Pack a spare key to each other’s homes, and instruct each other where to find emergency supplies. It is best if your network is familiar with your hearing loss and the hearing devices that you use. 

Deal with Your Hearing Loss Now

If you suspect you have a hearing loss, don’t wait for an emergency to discover how difficult it is to navigate an unpredictable situation. Make an appointment to diagnose and treat your hearing now so you can be ready for whatever emergency may you’re your way.

If you have experienced changes in your hearing, contact us today to schedule an appointment.