Keeping Gadgets Working When the Power Goes Off

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How does one keep mobile devices working during some type of emergency?

It’s been an eventful week here in Northern Virginia. On Tuesday we had an earthquake, 5.8 on the Richter magnitude scale, shaking lots of things at home and work to the floor. Almost immediately, on Wednesday, we began making preparations for hurricane Irene, the largest of its kind to move up the east coast of the United States in more than 50 years. In both cases, it’s been harder than usual to count on gadgets like mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and laptops.

For more than an hour after the earthquake, making mobile phone calls was difficult, though I found I was able to text easily. Now, during hurricane Irene (I am sitting by a window watching the rain fall in sheets), I worry about maintaining the battery charge of each gadget as long as possible, since the power is sure to go out at some point. Of greater concern is that, with millions of people losing power, it may take some time to get the power restored. Preservation becomes even more of a concern.

The August 28, 2011 New York Times Gadgetwise blog published an article addressing the use of mobile devices during a natural disaster. In Seven ways to Protect Your Tech from Irene, reporter Sam Grobart. It’s worth reading and following many of the suggestions.

Now, even as the wind is blowing in gusts and the trees are bending low, the power is still on, so we’ve kept all of our mobile devices plugged in as much as possible. Thought we unplug them at certain times, they go right back to charge.

While hurricane Irene may be over by the time you read this, check out the article to get all sorts of other ideas for the next time.

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