Each year, some areas are affected by powerful winter storms that can knock down power lines and if the electricity goes out, it often means an end to our connection with the outside world. For this eventuality we should make sure our devices stay powered up and be prepared because in some cases, it could take a few days for the electricity to come back on.
This post will give some suggestions to help you prepare for a power outage.
- Fully charge laptops: Laptops can be used to store a small amount of electricity that can be transferred to mobile devices through USB ports. To maximize the amount of stored power, we could start the laptop, select the Hibernate setting and close the display lid. This will put the laptop into low-power mode, but its USB ports still transfer some power. Just plug your smartphones and tablets in, so they can drain power from the laptop’s battery. You should be aware that charging through laptops is a slower process, you shouldn’t expect to get your mobile devices fully charged quickly.
- Disable unused connections: Staying connected longer means that we need to habitually disable unused connections, such as cellular/data connections, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, FM radio and others. We could enable them when needed. As an example, if we are waiting for emergency text messages from family members, friends or local authorities; we could only enable cellular connection; but disable data connection. Some smartphone models are equipped with low-power mode and we could enable it to close all non-essential connections, apps and features. The quickest way to disable all connections is by enabling the Airplane mode. It is also more energy efficient to send text messages than making quick phone calls.
- Read webpages offline: If you want to browse some information online, it is a good idea to open some relevant webpages in multiple browser tabs and then disable the connections by tapping the Airplane mode. You don’t need the data connection running while reading pages you have already downloaded.
- Disable all push notifications: When we need to enable the data connection, it can be quite annoying to get all those power-draining push notifications. They will push our phone to work a bit harder and to receive data from multiple services. Depending on the type of phone, there are different ways to disable push notifications.
- Use percentage for battery indicator: The standard battery-shaped indicator doesn’t allow us monitor the battery usage precisely. By using the percentage indicator, we could set a quota on how much power we should use for specific duration of time. We can take this one step further by checking components and apps that are using the power, while running on the background. Most of the power is used by the display and operating system; but we could find unnecessary apps that are running in the background. We may disable or uninstall
- Use reduced screen brightness: It is a good idea to turn down the brightness level on your display. A high resolution touchscreen display is often the biggest battery hog. It is possible to turn the display to a lower level at which we can still read text. During blackouts, our rooms will be much darker, so it isn’t necessary to crank up the brightness level.
- Charge your phone in the car: When we drive our car, it is a good opportunity to charge our mobile devices. We could invest on an affordable car charger.
- Use other power charging alternatives: We could purchase high-capacity power banks that can store thousands of mAh of battery juice. A solar-powered phone charger is another alternative that can be used during blackouts. Look for areas where sunlight is accessible for more than a few hours during the day. You could start a DIY project, by installing a small solar cell on your roof.
The following article was published on behalf of Hurford Salvi Carr. Hurford Salvi Carr are an award winning estate agency with offices in Central London, specialised in residential sales and lettings.