Tips for the Hearing Impaired
This fact sheet is designed to provide a checklist
of activities for people with disabilities to improve their emergency
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
| 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.
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
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
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.