Being prepared for an Ida may not be simple

As a new wearer of hearing aids, I’ve become freshly aware that much of what I need to take with me for a quick exit is either medical or related to hardware (flashlight, radio, Kindle, iPad, iPhone and their chargers or batteries). The author lists some of those items and reminded me that I need to purchase a solar-powered, rechargeable battery with a large capacity and multiple outlets rather than carrying around an entire bag of chargers. Ideas are in the notes after the post.

Do you have a solar-powered, large capacity recharger with the ability to charge items with lightning, mini-USB, USBC with an envelope on the side containing the tiny batteries you need for items like hearing aids?

Be Prepared

Katherine Bouton emergency preparednessHealthy Hearing

This summer’s violent storms in the East and out-of-control wildfires in the West, after a winter that included a deadly freak snowstorm in Texas, are reminders that emergency preparation is important, especially for people with hearing loss.

Your hearing aid is not going to do you any good without batteries, rechargeable or replaceable. Your cochlear implant is useless without both the earpiece and the headpiece and the charger for batteries. Your assistive devices won’t work without power.

Devices should be charged and ready to go. I also recommend pads and pens for communication, in case your devices are lost or run out of power.

Even if you’re not deaf or hard of hearing, emergency preparedness is important. This week in the New York metropolitan area we saw how quickly and devastatingly danger can arise, when the remnants of Hurricane Ida resulted, at last count, in 47 deaths. The same is true with fires – you may feel safe one moment and need to evacuate the next. Everyone should have a “go bag” at hand. All of this is true as well for an emergency in your own home: a fire or gas leak or other disaster. Have everything you’ll need ready for a quick exit. And have an emergency contact list for getting in touch once you’ve left.

Flashlight: In addition to hearing instruments, make sure you have a working flashlight. The batteries last longer if they’re not in the flashlight. Have spares. I have a rechargeable flashlight, the Bolder by Anker. It holds the charge for a long time and is quickly recharged with any USB power cord. You can buy them on the Anker website or online at Amazon ($29.99) and elsewhere.

Medication. As with your hearing equipment, keep medications in one easily accessed place, ready to put into your go bag.

Mobile phone and chargers. Again, keep your phone and charger in one reliable place so you’re not running all over the house looking for phone or charger. Remember that your car probably has a power outlet that will allow recharging.

Power Bank: I consider a power bank or portable charger an essential  component in a go-bag. Wirecutter recommends another Anker product: the Anker PowerCore Fusion 111 PIQ 3.0. It’s $39.99 on the Anker site as well as at Amazon and electronics stores.

Your wallet and ID. Maybe it’s time to get rid of all those store receipts and other unnecessaries in your wallet, so you’ll easily be able to find what you need, including your driver’s license.

I’ve written several times about emergency preparedness. It’s a perennial issue for everyone, but especially for the deaf and hard of hearing. This post, Emergency Preparedness for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, includes links to other helpful sites in planning for an emergency.

My last piece of advice is to sign up for emergency alerts issued by your city or community. In New York City, Notify NYC alerts include not just dangerous weather alerts but also power outages, public transit delays and other useful information.  


  1. Barbara BryanThanks Katherine for this wonderfully timed piece. Also, love the detailed very practical advice and helpful links. On the flashlight, I’ve been thinking that in this modern tech era, maybe I don’t need a flashlight, as I already have 2 different flashlight aps on my cell which I frequently use. Your choice looks great for people in the country but I’m wondering if perhaps the cell phone flashlight will suffice….!?LikeReply
    • litwinotOften, cell phone batteries run out of charge rather quickly especially if you are in an emergency situation checking weather or with other people or news. Some small bright flashlights hold a charge fir a very long time and use up the charge slowly. I use a very inexpensive rechargeable book light at home as a flashlight when our power goes out- bright with a small stand and flexible neck to allow use for any need and it lights for a few days on one charge.LikeReply
  2. litwinotA valuable post!! Thank you!
    Another very helpful product is the solar Luci light. It is very bright, compact and lightweight and holds a charge for months. One version can charge either by sunlight or also by USB. He basic one charges only by sunlight, sitting in a window or outside.LikeReply

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