We can’t always know when a natural disaster or other unexpected event will come our way but we can take steps to ensure that when something does happen, we are prepared.
It is normal to experience anxiety or apprehension during a natural disaster or crisis and this can be compounded by a hearing loss and the concern you may not hear announcements or alerts coming from community leaders.
It is important to prepare ahead of time to ensure your hearing aids and/or cochlear implants are in optimal condition. The following are tips to help you prepare for when the unexpected happens.
Check your battery supply.
- Disposable batteries: it is important to have extra disposable batteries on hand in the event you cannot get to a store to purchase more. Be sure to regularly check the expiration dates especially if you purchase in bulk. Batteries have a shelf life of 2-3 years.
- Rechargeable batteries: purchase a portable battery pack (and be sure to charge it) to be able to charge your batteries on the go or in the event the power goes out. Be sure you have more than one battery so you can always have fully charged battery on hand.
Review your equipment
- Check the status of your equipment and ensure you have extra parts and pieces in the event your hearing aid or cochlear implant stops working and you can’t immediately get to your audiologist. Hearing aids users should take care to a supply of wax filters and domes at home to easily replace if needed. Utilize a de-humidifier to lower the risk of moisture damage. Cochlear implant users should ensure they have an extra coil and cable to swap out if necessary.
Enhance your communication
- Utilize a captioned telephone to assist with understanding important information over the phone. Captioned applications are also available for smartphones.
- Sign up for text or e-mail alerts when possible to ensure you receive and understand any announcements or alerts.
See your Audiologist
- If you have enough notice, try to make an appointment with your audiologist for a clean and check of your equipment as well as re-programming to ensure you are able to hear your best.