Preparedness for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

If you or a loved one are deaf or hard of hearing, or use an assistive hearing device, consider the following when developing your emergency plans to increase your personal preparedness.

1. Plan for Yourself & Your Family Members

  • Customized emergency kits with items specific to your needs: extra batteries for hearing aids or cochlear implants, notepad & pens for two-way communication, car chargers for pagers/phones.
  • Include a weather radio (with text display and strobe-light alerts).
  • Have a network of neighbors, friends, and family that can alert you to emergencies and evacuation orders.
  • Pillow and bed shakers can be triggered by the sound of smoke alarms, especially when people remove assistive listening devices at night.
  • Identify methods where you can receive emergency alerts in your jurisdiction.
  • Enable Emergency & Government Alerts on smartphones, tablets, or PDAs devices.
  • Keep a list of key phrases on index cards for emergency personnel (e.g. “I need a sign language interpreter” or “I need announcements written down”).
  • Make sure everyone in your family knows WHERE, WHEN, WHAT and WHY for any procedures and special equipment or materials needed if you are asked to evacuate. If time allows, leave a note telling others when you left and where you are going.

2. Plan for Your Environment & Community

  • Identify where you will meet family, friends, or caregivers after an emergency. Pick two places to meet: one near your home and another at a neighborhood landmark (e.g. library, community center, or place of worship).
  • Be familiar with emergency plans and procedures that exist in places you spend time such as your workplace, school or day care center. Identify how information will be communicated to you in an emergency.
  • Know emergency exits for buildings you visit regularly (office buildings, doctor’s offices, stores, etc.).
  • If you drive, learn and be familiar with various evacuation routes in multiple directions.
  • If you do not drive or own your own car, learn about your community’s response and evacuation plans.
  • Contact Lexington Emergency Management to explore the creation of a voluntary registry of people with disabilities located within Fayette County. Call 859-280-8080 or email


Sign Language Network of KY
2134 Nicholasville Rd, Ste. 16/17 Lexington, KY 40503
(859) 629-8084

KY Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH)
632 Versailles Rd., Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 573-2604

Click here to download this page as a printable tip sheet/checklist in English and Spanish

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