Deaf and Hard of Hearing


The best time to prepare for an emergency is well ahead of time. When you prepare from a position of safety and calm, you can better cope with an emergency or disaster situation when it happens. An emergency or disaster may present unique challenges for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, therefore you may have to take additional steps to prepare yourself and your family.  Visit the emergency preparedness page on the Student Disability Services website for tips and information, as well as take time to check out National Weather Service website which has great resources on severe weather and how to stay informed for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Here’s what you need to get ready for an emergency or disaster:

  • Form a Personal Support Network & Have an Emergency Plan Before Disaster Strikes: These are the people you should involve in your emergency planning and can help you in an emergency situation. Most importantly, you should not rely on just one person, but have at least three or more people you can call on for help.
  • Complete a Personal Assessment: Make a list of your personal needs and your resources for meeting support network in a disaster environment.
  • Maintain a Disaster Kit: When a disaster strikes, it pays to be prepared.  Having a disaster kit will save you time and could save your life.  A disaster kit should be placed in your designated shelter and it may also be helpful to have a smaller version in a small backpack or other container that easily may be carried if you need to evacuate your home.  Disaster kits should be reviewed annually to kept up-to-date.
  • Be Informed: Know about the specific hazards that threaten your community (winter storms, tornadoes, flooding, etc.), subscribe to weather alerts, purchase a weather radio, and listen to local news channels if hazardous conditions are present.
  • Make Use of Technology to Receive Weather Information:  Technology provides multiple avenues to receive weather hazard information. NOAA All-Hazards Radio have been modernized with adaptors to provide alerts to deaf and hard of hearing individuals.  There are a wealth of weather applications available on cell phone and tablets that send alerts via SMS and visual alerts.  PC-based applications also exists that provide RSS feeds and visual alerts.