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A few months ago I talked about home portable generators for emergency electrical backup. This month’s topic will continue to be emergency power. One of the important things in our modern world is our phone system. When the power goes out the cordless phones in our homes will often stop working too. Do you have a wired landline which may continue to work if local power goes down?

We are all very attached to our mobile phones. Something I often see is people searching for a connection to recharge their mobile phones because they don't have anything to recharge it, even in their cars. They do not have a 12-volt adapter to charge their mobile phones.

As our mobile phones become more complex, we use them for more things besides calls and texts. We use them for mapping and directions while driving, voice recorders, cameras and you name it, there's an app for that. It all places a drain on the battery of our mobile phone. 

I only upgraded to a modern mobile phone less than a year ago. I now have an iPhone 7 as opposed to my previous eight-year-old flip phone. It was quite an upgrade. The battery on my iPhone will last anywhere from three to four days if it's just occasional usage, to less than a day if I am using it a lot, or using it as a mobile hotspot.

When I made the switch to a modern iPhone one of the first things I did as an emergency manager was buy a USB power bank that would recharge the phone anywhere and at any time.

There is a huge selection of power banks. They can vary from one that will just give you a single recharge on your iPhone to one like I have, 21,000 mAh (milliamp hours) and will recharge an iPhone seven times or something like an iPad or similar small computer two or three times.

Most of these backup power supplies are just battery storage units that can be charged at home or by anything that has a USB power outlet. You can also buy ones that take AA batteries and will recharge your phone several times. Any of these are relatively available. The corner convenience store should have the smaller units to the big box stores or try Amazon for the larger units. Even the larger ones like mine are only slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes and cost from $10 to $50.

They are certainly handy to have any time you're away from the wall plug-in or anytime you're away from home.

At a minimum you should at least have a 12-volt power adapter so that you can charge your phone in your car. Many of the newer cars actually have USB power ports that you simply plug into.

You can find more information about October power needs at

Until next time, be prepared and stay safe.

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