With the climate changing, weather we used to rely on is no longer predictable. With the recent devastation caused by the wildfires in California, and the rise in hurricanes, tornados, and earthquakes, it can only help and maybe save your life to be prepared. At HearCare RI, we encourage everyone to have an action plan in place for the various emergencies one can face.
For people with hearing loss, emergencies can bring extra challenges and anxiety. There is the fear that if you live with hearing loss you may sleep through a fire alarm or carbon monoxide alarm. When it comes to natural disasters and situations where precautions can make all the difference a predetermined action plan can put you and your loved ones at ease
For people who struggle with audio alarms it is important to have you warning systems designed to fire visual alliterates that you can be sure you will notice.
- Visual Fire Alarms with Strobe Lights: Many cities and states offer free visual fire alarms for the deaf and hard of hearing. You can also visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website for a list of brands that meet that U.L. standards for smoke alarms.
- Sign up for weather and other emergency alerts through The Emergency Email & Wireless Network at emergencyemail.org.
- NOAA Weather Radio: Provides one of the earliest warnings of weather and other emergencies and is programmed to alert you to hazards in your specific area. Some have a warning light, while others have LCD screen for alerts.
Pack an Emergency Kit
In general, a well-stocked emergency bag contains the essentials. These can sometimes be called a ‘Go Bag,’ because their intended to be grabbed them when you just have to Go and possibly without much notice. If you live in an area where a disaster might be more inclined to make you hunker down at home while you wait for normalcy to return, you can expand your preparedness beyond a simple bag. Many people keep an additional Go Bag in their vehicle, so that they’re prepared to hit extreme conditions if they’re away from home, too.
- Keep extra batteries in your emergency kit for hearing aid and/or your cochlear implants, as well as for visual or sensory alerting systems.
- It’s recommended to have a month’s worth of batteries for hearing aids on hand.
- For cochlear implants, consider a portable battery charger, because batteries generally last at most about eight hours. The chargers themselves need to be charged, so use them sparingly.
- Procure a waterproof/sealed container that is large enough to hold hearing aids or cochlear implants to protect them in cases of extreme weather.
- Remember your car can be a power source. Your car may have some power for charging things like a cochlear implant battery pack or a cellphone through its USB port.
- Cleaning tools to ensure functionality. If possible, pack an extra cleaning set into your emergency kit. This should include a wire loop to remove excess wax and a small brush for cleaning debris
- Paper and pen. These could be a lifesaver for those with severe hearing loss or deafness who may need to quickly communicate with emergency personnel.
- Spare hearing aids. If you’ve upgraded to a new pair of hearing aids, it may be worth it to put your old pair into your emergency kit to use in a pinch.
Designate Someone to Check Up on You
If you live alone, it’s a great idea to have one or two friends in your area check up on you in case of an emergency. You could also ask one friend out of state, so that if your friends close by are also affected by the emergency, you’ll still have someone from afar looking out for you. Try to keep in touch with your friends via texts or through social media so they’ll know you’re safe. Have a contact list printout with phone numbers for those to reach out to in case of emergency, as well as local text-9-1-1 services.
Contact Us Today to Help You Make a Plan
If you have hearing loss and want help developing a plan to keep you and your hearing aids safe during an emergency, visit us at HearCare RI for more on these and other tips. Prepare now for unseen emergencies so you can be ready for any emergency that life throws your way in these unpredictable times.