From hurricanes and tornadoes to blizzards and heat waves, extreme weather can be deadly. Storms can arise suddenly and an important part of staying safe is being prepared. If you have hearing loss, emergency or weather preparedness tips for people with hearing loss have a few extra challenges. Make sure you stay on top of information and can communicate with others, even when the going gets rough.
Get Smart Alerts
Alternative alarm and alert systems exist for people that are hard of hearing, some as close as your pocket. People with hearing loss have long relied on vibrating alarm products that alert you to danger. Many people with hearing loss use bed shakers vibrating alarms that go off when smoke or CO2 is detected.
Ensuring your weather alerts vibrate your cell phone is a good first step. Your cell phone is a flexible and important tool. It picks up regional weather alerts and warnings and communicating in times of trouble. So, keep your phone sufficiently charged and signed up for alerts.
If you live in an area where severe weather is common, you may want to purchase an emergency radio. One example is the Special Needs NOAA Weather Radio. Solar power or hand crank emergency radios keep working even when the power goes out. It has visual and vibrating alerts. Also, emergency information is presented as text on a screen that corresponds to emergency broadcasts. The NOAA system is a national network that monitors severe weather and natural disasters. It delivers up-to-the-minute information, as well as early alerts about developing severe weather.
Know What You Need
An emergency kit should be part of every home and workplace, and it should include the basic supplies you may need if a situation cuts you and your area off from resources and electricity for several days. Most emergency kits contain simple, non-perishable supplies like food and water, basic first aid and a flashlight or headlamp. If you live with hearing problems, your kit may have a few extra components.
Hearing Aid Prepared
First, if you wear hearing aids you will want to keep them working and have a way to protect them. Here are a few weather preparedness tips for people with hearing loss. Keep a small, durable container to protect your hearing aids when they aren’t in your ears. The container should be waterproof to keep them away from water, and rigid to keep them from being crushed. You also don’t want your hearing aids to run out of power. Store extra batteries or a portable power pack in your kit to help keep you running through any emergency.
Plan for Communication
Even the best-laid plans can run into trouble in an emergency. Many cell networks stay online even when the power goes out in an area, so texting can be a part of your emergency plan. However, cell phone batteries die and cell towers and networks can get knocked out, so it is also important to have a non-digital way to communicate with others. That’s why it’s important for people with hearing loss to carry a pen and paper in case other methods of communication fail. Using a pen and paper means you can communicate clearly with those around you, even if your hearing aids and cell phone are not working.
For those who want to go the extra step, communication cards can provide a handy shortcut in communicating without voices and talking to rescue or authority figures. Communication cards convey your hearing loss to the person reading the card, and many also use images, symbols and words that are easy to point to and convey meaning.
Want to learn more? Whether or not severe weather hits your area, treating your hearing loss is a way to be ready for whatever life sends your way. Hearing Group will help you find hearing solutions that are a perfect fit for your ear -and your lifestyle.
Treating hearing loss isn’t something to wait on. Procrastinating on your hearing health makes it harder to adapt to treatment, so the time to make an appointment for your next hearing exam is now. Fortunately, Hearing Group knows hearing care inside and out, offering comprehensive hearing exams and hearing options tailored to your needs. Have questions? Give us a call today!