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Keeping Your Computing and Mobile Devices Charged During Power Outages

Options For Sustaining and Maximizing Battery Life

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Have you ever considered alternative energy sources to keep you and your organization going during a routine power outage? Knowing the following options could keep you from losing your valuable productivity.

This is also important to consider for a more serious disaster situation. Personal safety is obviously the first concern, but anyone who has been through this type of ordeal also knows how extremely challenging it can be to communicate with others. A lot of what you can do comes down to being smart about batteries and backup power options, since internet and cell phone connectivity is much more out of your control.

If a Threat is Imminent, Charge Everything You Can

Some threats are predictable, so if at all possible, remember to charge every device you can once you hear of a possible storm or situation. Then, power the device down to preserve the charge as much as you can. Keep the device out of cold weather, which also drains the battery.

Double-Check That Important Documents are on Your Device, Not the Cloud

For known threats, you can also move important documents off the internet or cloud and onto your device. This way, if the internet goes out but you still have power, you can access those files. While productivity is not always the most ominous part of weathering a storm, staying connected as long as possible is always a valuable asset in difficulty, if at all possible.

Limit Calling, Start Texting

This is one argument for becoming a texter. In an emergency being more comfortable with texting can be very advantageous because texting uses less power than a call.

Install a Battery Life App, Change Settings

Even if you don't use it in your daily life, a battery life monitoring app such as Carat gives you suggestions on which apps you are not using much but which take the most power from your smartphone charge, which could come in very handy in a power outage so you could purge the deadweight.

You can also reduce screen brightness settings, turn off bluetooth, and other settings that use more power than necessary. Every mobile device is a little different, so make sure to check this out through your manual or the manufacturer's site.

Laptop Battery Life Lies

If You Have Lost Internet Connectivity

Internet connectivity is a threat as well, and your wireless connectivity is likely to go first. If it does, try wiring directly to your cable/internet service. It may be that you have only lost the router or wireless connectivity. Once you lose wired connectivity, your best bet is to communicate with others who may still be connected and able to assist you with an important call or email.

External Battery Packs and Chargers

It probably goes without saying, but those fully-charged device batteries will only last so long and will need to be recharged. Since a power outage means the electrical socket charger will not work, consider buying some backup options in the form of the following:

· Use Your Laptop as a Charger - This first option may be your only option if the situation is close at hand, but if you can do what you want on your phone, then use your laptop as a charging station, since its battery will likely retain a charge when inactive longer than your phone will.

· External Battery Pack - Compare Prices - This resource is just what it sounds like: a battery built to retain its charge for quite some time so you can then get a charge of it for a smaller device. Plan on this batter pack not lasting forever; you will likely get a few charges from it and that is all. These can also be called Juice Packs and Mophie is an example for iOS and Android devices. Some chargers even double as a mobile or tablet case, so it's worth checking into.

· Solar Charger - Compare Prices - This option obviously only works during daylight and the charge can take quite a while to build, but it may bail you out of being disconnected.

· Hand Crank Charger - Compare Prices - Be prepared to do some serious work with this option, since you will be creating energy to charge your device through your own sweat.

· Car Charger - You may not even own one of these, but for about $20 USD you should be able to pick one up for an emergency backup. Just keep in mind that you may not want to use your gas up charging your battery when another emergency need may be much more of a priority. In a similar vein, a Power Inverter can take DC power from your car battery and change it to AC power for many types of devices. This would usually make the most sense for something larger such as a desktop or laptop computer.

Check Each Device's Service Provider Resources

Also, for some devices, you may find some extra support options from your service provider. For example, Comcast offers the XFINITY Voice Backup Battery, which will power your phone for up to 8 hours.

While you cannot plan for everything, you do have some options to consider before you find yourself in a power outage. While it's still a calm, lovely day, plan ahead!

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