Hearing Aids and Cochlear Implants
Store hearing aid(s) and external speech processor(s) for your implants where you can easily find them after a disaster. For example, you could keep them in a container by your bedside and attach the container to a nightstand or bedpost using a string or Velcro. Missing or damaged hearing devices will be difficult to replace or fix immediately after a major disaster.
- Store extra batteries for hearing aids and implants.
- Keep your mobile wireless devices, captioned telephones and other communication equipment charged.
- Consider keeping two phone chargers available - one that comes with the current phone model and one that has the USB cable cord .
- Maintain batteries and store extras for your communications equipment. Check the owner's manual for proper battery maintenance.
- Invest in a solar charger or hand-crank charger to generate power when there is no electrical power.
- Know how to communicate with emergency personnel if there is no interpreter or if you don't have your hearing aids. Store paper and pens for this purpose.
- If possible, learn basic signs or gestures for additional communication support when it becomes difficult to communicate with someone.
- Use speech-to-text apps on your phone. One communication tool that uses icons is Show Me.
- Consider carrying a pre-printed copy of important messages with you, such as:
- "I use American Sign Language (ASL) and need an ASL interpreter."
- "I do not write or read English."
- "If you make announcements, I will need to have them written or signed."
- Create and print a Communication Card or ASL emergency booklet to communicate when needed.
Alarms and Alerts
- Install smoke alarms that give signals that can be both seen and heard. At least one smoke alarm should be battery operated.
- Invest in a NOAA Weather Radio to receive alerts about extreme heat or cold weather and other hazards.
- Check your phone settings to receive the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that are automatically activated when you are in or near a disaster zone.
- Sign up with your local county emergency management agency to receive localized messages for your community. Sign up in other locations where you work or attend school.
- Monitor television broadcasts for captioned emergency reports.
- Sign up for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that will include text and ASL alerts.
- Recruit interpreters to be Red Cross emergency volunteers.
- Contact one of the Department of Social and Health Services regional service centers nearest to you and speak with an advocate for guidance.
- Become a subject matter expert in your local community emergency planning group and share resources about access and functional needs.
- Take the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training when it is offered.
- Encourage TV stations to broadcast all news and emergency information in open caption format.
- Encourage TV stations to plan to show interpreters on-camera during the entire emergency news briefings.
- If possible, share your skills as a volunteer during clean-up and recovery activities.
- When you travel, ensure hotels have services for deaf and hard of hearing, including visual alarms. Ask for them when you make your reservations or when you check in.
- Spanish (PDF)
- Chinese (PDF)
- Korean (PDF)
- Russian (PDF)
- Somali (PDF)
- Ukrainian (PDF)
- Vietnamese (PDF)
- Large type (PDF)
DOH Pub 821-005
Revised - March 2008
This document was produced in cooperation with the Emergency Management Division of the Washington State Military Department.