First: May 4, 2013
Last: March 9, 2014
If this person is looking for a phone just for emergency use, then they may want to consider one of the "pay-as-you-go" phone plans, like a TracFone or a Go Phone, or something like that.
If you are not familiar with those plans, you buy the phone outright, and then you add minutes to the phone as you need them. Once you put the minutes on the phone and add them to the phone, you have to use the minutes up before they expire, though.
They also need to think about what they will be using the phone for, too. Will they text with it, or will they mostly be talking with it. Some people don't mind more of a basic "flip phone," while some might want more of a "smart phone," that has more features to it, like internet access, too.
Another thing to consider is if they use a hearing aid, or do they have a hearing impairment without the use of a hearing aid. Some phones might be more hearing aid compatible than others.
When someone is looking for any kind of electronic device, I always recommend that they shop around in person, if they are able to do that.
That way, they can look at the item, ask questions of the sales person, see if they can pick up the item and hold it, etc. In this case, since it is a phone, would this phone have the features that they need or want, is it comfortable in their hand, would they be using a bluetooth wireless device with it or not, etc. Some of these basic "pay-as-you-go" phones are not bluetooth wireless compatible.
Here is a link to an AT & T wireless article about different phones that are hearing aid compatible. I am posting it in case you find something in it useful or helpful.