Vital Advice For Hearing Aid Wearers
North American Precis Syndicate
Be prepared: Write out and gather up an emergency checklist of things you'll need in case of a disaster. (NAPS)
by Dr. Navid Taghvaei
(NAPSI)—Some disasters, such as hurricanes, can be tracked in
advance so you have time to prepare before they actually strike. Others
descend with little to no advance warning. If you have hearing loss, the
wisest course is to put an emergency plan into place while there is no threat
brewing. These four tips can help:
1. Register for all available
emergency alert systems. Opt into all available alert systems and text
notifications so if an urgent situation arises, you’ll get the warning.
For information on the various national level alerts, including Wireless
Emergency Alerts (WEAs), visit www.ready.gov/alerts.
Your emergency plan should include the locations of nearby shelters. If
you have a service dog, make sure you have all its identifying paperwork,
tags or vest ready, along with bedding and at least three days’ supply
of food, water and medication.
2. Put together a list of your
health and medical needs. Your emergency kit should include:
• Names and contact information for your doctors
• List of any allergies or other chronic medical conditions
• List of any required medications and dosages
• Your blood type
• Any medical and communications devices you might require (hearing
aids, hearing aid accessories)
• Health insurer name and full membership information (plan name,
• Names and contact information for your preferred hospital and
• Hearing aid make, model, and manufacturer information.
3. Assemble all possible
communication methods. Figure out all the alternatives you can use to
communicate, such as hearing aid accessories (assistive listening devices, or
ALDs) that let you hand someone a microphone so you can hear what he or she
says directly in your hearing aids. If your devices are equipped with
telecoils (T-coils), make sure you know how to activate that setting. If you
have difficulty speaking, create and store text messages in a smartphone or
tablet (for example: “I am hard of hearing,” “Do you know
sign language?” or “I can’t hear you, please write”).
Write the same messages in a notebook or on cue cards as backup, in case your
high-tech devices fail or run out of power.
4. Gather supplies and store in a
carry-on bag somewhere you can access quickly. It should have:
• Bottled water
• Jerky, protein bars, cheese or peanut butter crackers, and similar
• Copies of important documents sealed in a waterproof bag (insurance
cards, driver’s licenses, Social Security cards)
• Flashlight and spare batteries (alternately, a crank-powered
• $100 cash, in small bills, also sealed in a waterproof bag
• Backup supplies for any medical devices (hearing aid charger, hearing
• Cell phone charger and backup rechargeable battery supply
• Compact travel blanket, pillow
• Personal hygiene items (toothbrush and toothpaste, sanitary pads)
• All-weather packable jacket
• Crank weather alert portable radio. Also consider a separate
emergency kit for your car with a first-aid kit, repair tools, flares and
Don’t wait for disaster to strike. The time to prepare for an
emergency is while everything is going well.
For further facts on hearing loss and hearing aids, go to www.signiausa.com.
• Dr. Taghvaei is an
Educational Specialist with Signia. He conducts very complex individual and
group technical training courses and activities involving new and existing
developments in audiology, products, software and technology for employees
and customers. He demonstrates multisystem products by preparing and
conducting clinician training, supports clinical product offerings, and
performs in-house clinical trials for the Audiology Department team. He has
extensive clinical experience in pediatric and adult hearing instrument and
cochlear implant fitting, programming and rehabilitation.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)