Protecting Your Hearing During an Emergency
From natural disasters like hurricanes to bouts of illness, many unexpected situations can prevent you from seeing a doctor to repair, adjust or replace your hearing aid. In the event of emergencies, there are several steps you can take to help protect hearing — or to troubleshoot common problems with your hearing device.
- Have an “emergency hearing kit.”
Keep a stash of basic supplies, such as extra hearing-aid batteries, cleaning tools, desiccant to remove moisture, a waterproof hearing-aid container and a spare hearing device, if you have one. Add a pen and paper for communication, emergency contact numbers and a flashlight or lantern.
- Make a plan for others to reach you.
Be sure that friends, family or neighbors are aware of your hearing needs. If you worry you won’t be able to hear sirens, for example, then ask someone to help relay helpful information to you.
- Be prepared for emergency personnel.
During storms or health-related emergencies, medical professionals might need to contact you. Consider keeping a card in your wallet that mentions your hearing impairment and any special communication needs you might have. You can show the card to help others understand the best way to relay information.
- Know a few troubleshooting basics.
If your hearing aid fails unexpectedly during an emergency, first, try replacing the batteries. If that doesn’t work, carefully clean your device. Lastly, try drying your hearing aid, either in a specialized drying kit (if you have one) or in a bag with desiccant for an hour or so.
In any emergency, staying calm is key, and empowering yourself to protect hearing is an important step to that. Feel free to contact our office anytime for specific advice about preparing for hearing emergencies — we’ll be happy to help.