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This material is archived primarily from Email tips distributed to my own home computer friends here in Ocala, dated 2015-2017. Updates to this material are scheduled for CY 2018.

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Battery Recharge Preparations Pay Off


Hurricane Readiness Battery Recharge Preparations Pay Off

One of the big lessons of this storm has been to take advantage of the growing range of battery recharge options available in case of power outage.

Even while power was out, and therefore Internet service and WiFi were out for DSL and Cable internet customers, mobile phone service went uninterrupted for most people I know here in S.W. Ocala. Phone tower signals withstood the storm impact pretty well here.

Anybody with an unlimited data plan not only had phone and text messaging through the storm, but also had internet access running through their phone signal.

(Also, in the case of this storm, since some of the telecom companies made their WiFi widely available to the public either for free or on lenient terms.)

As a result, as far as keeping in communication is concerned, the primary need came down to keep our phones charged. This is where things are better today than the last time a big storm hit us.

This year more than ever, it's easy to buy affordable battery packs, adapters and related items for keeping small devices charged.

Here are a few options to keep in mind in advance of future power outages:

If you have an uninterruptible power supply unit (a "ups"), it can be used to recharge your phone multiple times during an outage.

If you have a laptop or notebook charged up before an outage, you can use a USB adapter to charge your phone from the computer's lithium ion battery power.

If you just shop around stores like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS or various electronics stores, or shop on Amazon or eBay, you'll find very affordable battery packs with adapters for the same purpose, from small / compact to larger.

If you have gas to spare during an outage, you can get an adapter that will power or recharge smart phones and small tablets from your car's "automotive power outlet" (a.k.a. cigarette lighter).

This is one of those "emergency preparedness" categories we should add to our household "to do" lists, just like keeping standard batteries in stock, and keeping flashlights ready where we can find them.

Using these options enables a mobile phone customer to stay in touch and be reachable for an extended time without their usual electrical power.

Another good tip is to go into your Settings (the "gear" icon), look for "Battery" (it might be listed under something like "Device Management"), and look at the battery conservation options. You can set your battery for "maximum" conservation and retain battery power for a couple days on one charge session by using this option to disable most apps on the phone.

In an emergency, Phone and Messaging are the most critical functions for most people, and battery conservation enables you phone to save power for these functions. Email and apps like Facebook may be important for "checking in as Safe" but should be used sparingly during an outage unless you have phone recharge options such as those above.