8 Ways to Charge your Phone When the Power is Out

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

A few weeks ago, we had a power outage when a transformer in our neighborhood blew out.  At the time my phone was low on battery life and needed to be charged.  I wasn’t too worried about it, since I have a few sources of backup power.  With our reliance on smart phones, I thought it would be helpful exercise to figure out ways to charge the phone in an outage.

Portable charger

If you rely on your smart phone, portable chargers are a “must have.”  Look for one that is “high capacity,” fast-charging and light-weight.  You also want to make sure it provides surge protection and temperature control.  Be sure it is compatible to your device.  A good example is one by Anker.

Solar charger

I think solar chargers are a great backup for charging small electronics, especially if you get a lot of sun in your area.  Here’s a solar charger I tested previously.

Hand crank charger

Another option is a charger that has a backup hand crank power generator, such as the Eton Boost.

Stove charger

The Biolite stove allows you to cook and charge at the same time.   It was not a fast charge, but the Biolite stove I reviewed a while back worked well.

Light charger

The SunJack Waterproof Lightstick provides backup lighting and charges as well.  The Sunjack Lightstick provides a bright light and is a power bank.   I tested it as well.

Selfie stick with power bank

Another source of backup power is the power bank that comes with the selfie stick such as Gizmotech.  This model also comes with a light.  In an emergency, it’s good to have as many backups as possible.

Use your laptop

If your laptop is fully charged, you can plug your phone into the USB port and charge it.

Use your car

If you have a USB to 12-volt adapter, you can charge your phone through your car’s cigarette lighter slot.  (Of course if you turn on your car, make sure you are in a well ventilated area, not in an enclosed garage to avoid carbon monoxide fumes.)

Bonus tip:  conserve power

Conserve any remaining power in your phone by:

  • Turn off apps that burn power in the background.
  • Lower the brightness of your screen.
  • Use texts instead of calls to communicate.
  • Use an app that helps extend battery life.

About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.


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