Emergencies strike whether you’re prepared or not. From the dangers of natural disasters like hurricanes and blizzards, to power outages and flooding, planning ahead allows you to be more prepared during an emergency. And if you or a loved one is hearing-impaired, it’s important to prepare to have those special needs met during an emergency.
In addition to stocking up on canned goods, bottled water and batteries, here are some steps to take to assure you or your loved ones with hearing loss will be safe in case of emergency.
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Hearing Loss Emergency Kit
Make sure to pack a special “emergency kit” designed for those with hearing loss. This could include, but is not limited to:
- Extra hearing aid batteries, a spare
- Water-resistant hearing aid container – A dry aid kit with desiccant is ideal, but even a sealed sandwich bag can work
- Desiccant to absorb moisture from hearing aids. Even if you have a dry case, it’s good to have this around for when rain, snow, condensation or even high humidity are a concern,
- Cleaning tools. Hopefully your hearing aids came with a cleaning tool. Usually these tools include a small wire loop for removing wax accumulations from the tip of the devices, a brush for clearing dust and other debris from the microphone, and for behind-the-ear devices, a thin plastic line for clearing the tubing. We normally would never recommend using anything other than specialized cleaning tools on your hearing aid. But in an emergency when you don’t have your cleaning tool, you can use a paper clip in place of the wire loop, a toothbrush for cleaning the microphone and fishing line for clearing the tubing on behind-the-ear devices. But remember to never poke the end of a paper clip inside the hearing aid’s tubing. Just use it to scrape the surface of the opening.
- Paper and pen (for those with severe hearing loss, in case someone will need to write in order to communicate).
- A list of city, county and state emergency numbers, in addition to close friends and relatives that can help you in case you need assistance. These numbers should be on a separate piece of paper, as well as programmed into your cell phone.
- A back-up or spare pair of hearing aids