Hurricane season is upon us, and it’s a smart idea to do everything you can to be prepared. In case of a hurricane, you should always have a few extra batteries on hand for your flashlights, extra food available, and of course, it’s a good idea to have a first aid kit, too. For those in the hard of hearing community, the preparedness list looks a little bit different. It’s important to check that you’ve taken all the steps you can to be prepared in case of a hurricane emergency.
Check Your Batteries: Color, Quantity, and Tools
The most important thing you need to do is check your hearing aid batteries. Since every hearing aid has its own battery size, it’s essential that you know what size battery you’re looking for. Luckily, batteries are color-coded, which makes it very easy for you to find out the size that you need. Check your hearing aid batteries, find out what color tabs they have, and then purchase extra batteries of that color. You should have about a month’s supply. Battery life varies depending on the style. In general, they’ll last anywhere from five days to just over seven days.
Many people also like to have battery tools in their hurricane kits. This is a great idea if you’re worried about removing your batteries by hand. Include battery tools in your kit to make sure you don’t have any issues changing your hearing aid batteries.
Check Your Charger
If you have rechargeable hearing aids, you should consider investing in an extra charger for your hurricane preparedness kit. No matter what, make sure that the primary charger you use is located somewhere where you can quickly access it and put it in your kit.
Chargers also come in all kinds of different styles, but they are specific to the manufacturer. Verify that you have the right charger for your current hearing aids, and ensure that it is in working condition.
If you have an assistive listening device, you will also need to make sure that your device’s charger is ready to go in the event of a hurricane emergency. Again, if it’s possible for you to invest in an extra charger, that’s a great idea. Otherwise, make sure that your assistive listening device charger is easily accessible so that you can pack it away in your hurricane kit at a moment’s notice.
If an electronic device gets wet, it could be damaged beyond repair. In case of a hurricane emergency, it’s essential to ensure that you have a way to keep your hearing aids or assistive listening device dry. If there’s no way to keep them dry, then you need to have a way to dry them quickly.
There are many different items that you can use for drying out hearing aids or to make sure they stay dry. You can purchase a small, waterproof container to keep everything dry that needs to be protected. You can also include a Ziploc bag in your emergency kit to seal your hearing aids inside.
In case you need to ask your audiologist or hearing care providers any questions during a hurricane emergency, you should write down their contact information or get their business card to include in your kit. Most of these professionals will have information available both on their websites and on a voice recording that you’ll hear when you call their office.
Check Your Radio
If you’re worried that you may not hear emergency notification alerts, you can purchase a radio from NOAA that has notification lights. It’s great to have that visual cue. You can also opt-in for emails at emergencyemail.org to be alerted online or by text.
Have a Plan
There are many details that you normally wouldn’t think of that you need to consider when you are hard of hearing and preparing for a hurricane emergency. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help individuals who are hard of hearing so that potential communication barriers can be avoided or managed. It’s important to remember that there are alternatives available and you don’t need to solely rely on listening to a news report or to the radio for important information.
In an emergency situation, communication is key. When you rely on devices to help you communicate, it’s essential to take the steps you can to keep your devices safe and available during that emergency.
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Jacksonville Speech & Hearing Center
1010 N Davis St Ste 101
Jacksonville, Florida 32209 Phone:(904) 355-3403 Fax: (904) 355-4149
Jacksonville Speech & Hearing is a 501(c)(3) and all donations are tax deductible. EIN 59-0970718.