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Weather Alert Systems For The Deaf

Severe weather alerts only work if you are aware of them, and for people may be deaf or who have impaired hearing, this may be problematic. Fortunately, technology has allowed for several methods by which deaf and hearing impaired may still receive ample warning in the event of a severe weather situation.

Alerting devices use extra loud tones, flashing lights, and sometimes even vibrations to alert people with a hearing loss. Some of these devices are designed to respond to different sources, such as a doorbell, a crying baby, or fire/smoke alarms. For severe weather problems, they may be wired to respond to signals coming from Weather Alert Radios, while fire threats can be handled through smoke alarms which trigger the device.

Telecommunication Devices may use the telephone as a means of alerting the person to a problem. Phone rings may be amplified by as much as 55 decibels, coupled with visual displays placed throughout the home to make sure the resident is aware of them. Video phones are also excellent devices for allowing folks who communicate primarily through sign language to communicate across long distances.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) such as audio induction loops consist of a microphone, an amplifier, and a length of wire or cable which encircles a given area. Deaf or hearing impaired listeners must have their hearing aids tuned to a specific telecoil switch and sit within a given area.  Other similar devices include an FM system that transmits sound via radio waves. Personal amplification systems are portable and may be used in a variety of environments. They are useful for listening to TV or radio and being able to discern given sounds or signals.

Technology is making it much easier for those who are hearing impaired to receive the same warnings and watches that most of the rest of us take for granted. It would be a tragedy for anyone to be injured or killed simply because they were unable to hear the appropriate severe weather or flooding warnings and get to cover on time.

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