A natural disaster can strike anywhere at anytime. If you or a loved one has a hearing problem, a crisis presents additional obstacles. The key to safely navigating a disaster is advanced planning. So prepare for an emergency before it happens to ensure you know about an emergency and how to appropriately respond if one occurs.
Print out a contact list for those you will need to reach out to as well as 9-1-1 services. Keep your audiologist and ear doctor telephone numbers as well as contact information for your hearing aid or cochlear implant company for emergency support.
Planning is essential for disaster preparedness. For the individual with a hearing loss, preparation should exceed the canned goods, bottled water, and batteries to include items, especially for their hearing needs. This emergency kit should consist of the following tools and supplies:
If you or a loved one wears hearing aids, Keep these troubleshooting steps handy in the case of hearing aid failure during a crisis.
Talk to your audiologist regarding disaster planning. Know what disasters can occur in your area and what to do if one does happen. Communication is vital during a crisis and steps should be taken to assure the hearing impaired will receive emergency information.
State and local governments provide planning committees, meetings, and training programs to assist people in the event of an emergency. Usually, these organizations are held responsible for ensuring effective communication for the deaf and hard of hearing. At a minimum, they should provide CART, qualified interpreters, assistive listening devices, and other auxiliary aids.