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Grandaughter talking through a megaphone to her grandfather

Tips for the Hearing Impaired

This fact sheet is designed to provide a checklist of activities for people with disabilities to improve their emergency preparedness readiness.


Preparation may seem like a lot of work. It is. Preparing does take time and effort. So do a little at a time, as your energy and budget permit. The important thing is to start preparing. The more you do, the more confident you will be that you can protect yourself, your family and your belongings.



Date Completed

 Store and maintain extra batteries.


 Store Hearing Aids


 Install both audible alarms and visual smoke alarms.


 Determine how you will communicate.




  • Store extra batteries for hearing aids and implants. If available, store an extra hearing aid with emergency supplies.
  • Maintain TTY batteries (consult manual).
  • Store extra batteries for your TTY and light phone signaler. Check the manual for proper battery maintenance.


Hearing Aids

  • Store hearing aid(s) in a strategic, consistent and secured location so they can be found and used after a disaster.
  • For example, consider storing hearing aid(s) in a container attached to your night stand or bed post using string or Velcro. Missing or damaged hearing aids will be difficult to replace or fix immediately after a major disaster.



  • Install both audible alarms and visual smoke alarms. At least one should be battery operated.



  • Determine how you will communicate with emergency personnel if there is no interpreter or if you do not have your hearing aid(s). Store paper and pens.
  • Consider carrying pre-printed copy of key phrase messages with you such as "I speak American Sign Language (ASL) and need an ASL interpreter," "I do not write or read English" or "If you make announcements, I will need to have them written or signed."
  • If possible, obtain a battery operated television that has a decoder chip for access to signed or captioned emergency reports.
  • Determine which broadcasting systems will be accessible in terms of continuous news that will be captioned and/or signed. Advocate so that television stations have a plan to secure emergency interpreters for on camera emergency duty.



  • Recruit interpreters to be Red Cross emergency volunteers.
  • Maintain pressure on TV stations to broadcast all news and emergency information in open caption format.
  • Ensure hotels have access packets for deaf and hearing-impaired persons, including audible alarms, when you travel. Ask for them when you check in.


For more information, please visit  Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco and the American Red Cross.

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