Here in Florida, we are used to heavy thunderstorms, changeable coastal weather, and hurricane season. No matter the time of year, there are always natural disasters to pay attention to. If it can happen then a day may come where it just might and it’s important to be prepared for whatever comes your way. As such, as a hearing aid wearer, it is always a good idea to be prepared!
For those of us with hearing loss and who use hearing aids as treatment, there are a few things to consider in an emergency. It’s important to be prepared not only to have a plan of shelter or escape but to make sure you are ready to hear and communicate as clearly as possible for any emergency which could come your way! Here are a few ways you can be prepared for hearing loss.
Sign Up for Emergency Alerts
The sooner we know danger is coming the more time we will have to react. Many emergency alerts come in the form of sirens. However, this can be easily missed by those who have high-frequency hearing loss – the type most common for those with age-related hearing loss. Fortunately, many kinds of weather and emergency alerts today are sent via text message.
Make sure you have your vibration settings turned on so you can feel your phone buzz and make sure you are ready. While many systems on your phone for alerting you of danger are installed automatically on your smartphone, others require your permission.
Take extra care to ensure you are signed up for any federal, state, and county emergency alert systems. Make sure to hit the box which allows them to be sent via text message. Visit https://www.ready.gov/alerts for a list of national alert systems and to sign up.
Have a Pair of Back up Hearing Aids Ready!
For those of us who have become accustomed to using our hearing aids daily, we know what help they provide. They help us hear sounds and people around us, allowing us to navigate the world around us with ease. We want to make sure we have them charged up and powered for any emergency that could come our way. It’s important to plan for the instance where you don’t have access to your hearing aids due to some unexpected fluke.
If you have an older pair of hearing aids, it’s wise to pack them into your emergency bag, so you can use them if something happens to your most current pair. If you don’t have old hearing aids, you may want to invest in an assistive listening device, which can be purchased over the counter. While they may not be as nuanced as your prescription hearing aids, they do provide amplification which can help you through a dangerous emergency.
Pack Extra Batteries
Along with a backup amplification device, it’s important to make sure you’ve packed batteries to get you through a couple of weeks without access to new ones. Most hearing aid batteries need to be changed out every three days or so. For those of us who have rechargeable batteries make sure to pack a backup charger in your emergency bag as well. The best-case scenario means you will have two emergency bags- one for your car and one for your home so you’ll be ready whether you’re out in the world or at home when a disaster strikes.
Use the Buddy System
When disaster strikes it’s always better to not have to go through it alone. Reach out to your neighbors and plan. This way you’ll know just what to do and won’t have to panic. In the event of a calamity, have 2-3 persons in state and one person out of state check in on you and make sure you are safe. Talk to them about your hearing needs so they can help support you through hearing difficulties.
Write down your emergency contacts
Keep a waterproof copy of important numbers in your wallet, and emergency bags. This can include family members, doctors, and your hearing care provider! This way if your smartphone gets lost or broken you have a comprehensive backup list of important contacts. Remember to include your health insurance provider and membership details, such as plan name and number.
Whether it’s providing simple repairs to your hearing aids or providing you options for upgrades, we’re here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about our hearing services.