After the adjustment period with your new hearing aids concludes, people are often left wondering, ‘How did I live without these?’ And it’s true! Daily interactions become less stressful, quality of life improves and tendencies towards isolation are reversed.
It leads to the question: what precautions are you taking to ensure that you don’t have to live without your hearing aids? In the event of an emergency, you may find yourself in circumstances that interrupt your daily life. It’s prudent to keep a bag or store of essentials stocked so that you are prepared when necessary. While we hope the disaster never falls, it’s better to expect the unexpected.
Prepare something mobile
Having a well-stocked cellar and doubling up on sale items at the grocery store is a great way to feel prepared. However, in an emergency, it won’t serve you very well should you be forced to evacuate or leave your home. Many people living in the path of last summer’s wildfires or in the Southern coastal flood zones will attest, you are given much warning when evacuations are issued.
People today have taken to preparing a “Go Bag,” stocked with essential items, and kept in a place where it is quick and easy to grab. Proponents of this preparation method encourage a duplicate go bag be kept in the car, so that you’re never at a loss when the unexpected occurs.
Preparation not perspiration
Don’t sweat the small stuff, pack it! Camping supply stores are wonderful places to meander through and pick up gear for your emergency kit. Dehydrated food comes in all sorts of cuisines, but what remains constant is the small area space it takes up. It’s easy to stock up on a week of meals without sacrificing precious cargo space.
Stockpiling enough water while maintaining transportability is a bit trickier. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends a gallon of water per person per day for both hydration and sanitation. Hopefully, if the worst occurs and you must evacuate, you’ll be able to find clean drinking water quite easily. That might not be the case, so buy a few additional gallon jugs to store near your bag that you can take along with you.
Beyond the essentials
The details beyond food and water can seem overwhelming. All of a sudden, everything is a necessity. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Instead, consult the experts. FEMA has an excellent list of items to prepare with on their Ready.gov site. Comparing what you consider to be a necessity to theirs is a great way to see how realistic you are able to be.
If you have four legged friends you’re responsible for, make sure that their food, water and medications are also taken into account.
Arm yourself with information
In times of confusion, it’s good practice to have quick and easy access to information. Make copies of very important documents and store them in a plastic bag, digitally on a flash drive, or in a cloud-based online storage system. Important documents to consider here are birth certificates, deed(s) to your home(s), insurance information and irreplaceable family photos. Because our capacity for remembering phone numbers seems to have diminished in this age of cell phones, consider writing down a list of important telephone numbers onto a piece of paper in case you find yourself without cell battery power.
Specifically for hearing aid wearers
There’s an additional worry for those of us with hearing aids perhaps because they are such an essential item of our daily lives but are not without their own maintenance needs. Make sure to have on hand — and in your Go Bag — a few extra days of batteries. Being without power for a few days isn’t completely unusual and rechargeable hearing aids might not have quite that battery life yet.
Exposure to moisture can be severely damaging to hearing aids, so be prepared to take extra care in this arena. Have a water-resistant storage container for your hearing aids so that you can ensure their safekeeping even in unpredictable circumstances. Desiccant can be purchased online and is great to have in case of a severe saturation of your hearing aids. If exposed to too much moisture, packing hearing aids in this quick absorbing material can swiftly dry them out.
Anticipating a worst-case scenario, keep a pen and notepad in your bag. If needed, this can make a conversation without hearing aids significantly easier for all parties involved.
Feel ready for anything by treating hearing loss
Being prepared can alleviate a great deal of stress in both an actual emergency and in the anticipation of one. We can’t control everything in life, that’s a certainty. But, we can control how we show up, so let’s show up prepared! One huge part of being prepared is treating hearing loss. If you’ve experienced changes in your hearing, contact us at Fidelity Hearing Centers today to schedule a hearing test.