Tech lesson of 72 hours without electricity

Tech lesson of 72 hours without electricity

at the end of October, my house lost power and internet for three days, part of a larger story about the nearby fires and poorly maintained electrical infrastructure in California. Over these 72 hours, and the one immediately preceding, and followed them, I spent a lot of time thinking about how to deal best with the technology, if you are in front of a blackout. Here is what I have learned.

the back-up batteries are essential

If you don’t bring a backup batteries for charging your devices, you some. They are useful when you are traveling—I always bring loaded at least one with me when I go on a trip so I don’t end up in a strange city without a fully functioning iPhone. I have two 10,000 mAh battery with two USB ports, capable of charging iPhone several times.

Especially in the case of extended power outages, I also bought a solar charger earlier this year. The fact that it is in the sun all day, I could almost complete one of these large batteries, the extension of the charging time, before all my devices are completely power.

I have also turned to Low-Power mode on all of my iPhones. (Apple, as it would be with a Low-Power mode for the iPad?) In the Low-Power mode (accessible via the battery menu in the settings app), iPhones are much more aggressive on the postponement of tasks, the drain-battery—and my goal is to ration power as much as possible. I even turned off always-on mode on the display from my new Apple Watch to extend its life of the battery.

solar-charger Jason Snell

Charging a battery via solar panel? It works!

Another smart tech product, which you should, perhaps even a UPS or uninterruptible power supply. These are fat-power-strip-with strong, built-in battery, which you power goes out your equipment will stay on short if. Not only will you be able to help you ride momentary power outages during storms, but it will give you time to save or transfer files to other devices, and then shut down in the event of an extended outage. In the event of a power failure, the don’t take your internet connection, you also have the battery in a UPS to power your cable modem and router press and hold the Wi-Fi.

During the outage, I found another use for my UPS. When the power went off, I shut down all off my devices and the UPS. What this means is that the UPS still had power in the battery. I landed a floor lamp pull in my living room, and with the help of the UPS to give us a little electric light in the evening hours. (I ran an extension cord from another room to do this because my UPS, the unsightly “feature” of the beep loudly to alert you that the power is off.)

Between the batteries and the solar charger and UPS, we have managed to get us in good shape for the three days we were powerless.

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Losing the internet is worse

Although I had planned in advance to lose the power that I had not actually planned, was the possibility that we would lose our connection to the internet. My local cable provider, the internet infrastructure went into default, and two-thirds of mobile phone masts in my County also went down, despite the carrier claiming that they had generators in place for just in case.

As a result, I had a charged cell phone, a couple of backup batteries and nothing to join. To save on battery life, the first thing you should do if you are in an area without cellular service is you go into the flight mode. If a cell phone can’t get a signal, it cranks up the power to his radio, to see if it can find something for themselves. It ends only until the battery is empty.


Low-data-mode can help keep your iPhone focus on the download of the most important things.

Depending on where we went, to our neighborhood, we sometimes have a cellular signal, and sometimes sporadic access to the data could. To check as we have tried to the world (with airplane mode, obviously), I turned on the Low-to-data mode, which you can find here in the settings app tap on phone, then phone-data-options. You can. but even on Low-Data-mode for Wi-Fi connections, tap Wi-Fi, and then click the name of the active Wi-Fi network If you limit everywhere there, where a slow data connection, Low-data-mode tells your iPhone how much data it uses, a prioritization of the currently opened app.

My guess was that if I managed it, the gateway to the internet, whether it is on Wi-Fi or cellular, I wouldn’t want my cell phone to try to upload photos or other extravagant things with the limited size of the data pipe.

Lob caching

I have, in the end, you can find a reliable place for access to the internet—supermarket just a few minutes walk from my house, a huge generator was installed and also had to run its Wi-Fi network—and moved in there several times a day for an update about what’s happening in the world.

in the process, I came to appreciate even more one of the functions that I use frequently when I’m on a plane: contents-apps that store data locally, so that they can read or view later. I saved a bunch of articles from The Sports iPhone app, the New York Times app-cache with a Tag value of the contents, and gave me an afternoon to read.

In a situation like this, you will learn what apps are your friends, and which apps are not. (While still on Wi-Fi, I remembered the copy and paste text from an E-Mail newsletter so I could read later, because Apple Mail is just awful, to work offline.)

I’m also glad that my podcast and music apps, had to plug some content to keep on my phone rather than streaming exclusively from the cloud, because I was able to listen to, even if the connection is closed. (I usually download a couple of Apple-music-playlists on my phone, so I have access when I fly, and have Covered the set to download podcasts automatically when you are on Wi-Fi.)

you Can to the radio?

readers of this page are people who usually embrace technology. Jumped you will probably from cassette to CD to MP3 fast and maybe you have even embraced by music-streaming services and AirPods and all the others.

sanyo radio Jason Snell

My 1980s vintage cassette tape player works with the EarPods, but not the Lightning version.

This can also mean to remember that at some point, maybe even without it, you got rid of the last device in your home receive AM/FM radio stations. It almost happened to me, except that I pass my old off-brand cassette pLayer from the 80s to digitize just in case I ever found a Band that I needed. This player is also an AM/FM radio, and since it uses AA batteries and a standard headphone Jack, I was able to stay up to date on the latest emergency information from local radio stations during the outage. If you don’t have a way to listen to the radio in your house, you might want to purchase a radio-enabled device, one of a kind. (There is even a generation of the iPod nano, of the received FM radio signals!)

The Kindle is great, in a blackout

Finally, I want to praise, is the Kindle e-reader on which I read several books during the blackout. The Kindle runs for a week on a single charge, especially if you put it in airplane mode. It lights itself, so you can read it yourself in the pitch-black darkness of a neighborhood without power. And it has enough storage for dozens of books.

I enjoy my Kindle for many reasons, especially including that it is more comfortable, less distracting environment to read than my iPhone or iPad. But in a low-energy scenario, it also benefits by its very long battery life, and save everything.

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Released on Wed, 06 Nov 2019 12:00:00 +0000

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