October 28, 2012 by quirkyuncle
With a big storm coming, a lot of folks are bound to lose power. Switch your phone to “airplane mode” to help save your cellphone battery for emergency use.
Large scale power outages can disable the cellular network that your phone connects to. Cellphones, even smart phones, are actually fairly stupid. It makes them feel happy and secure when they have a network connection and sad and miserable when they don’t. Phones pretty much go berserk trying to establish a network connection, using techniques like turning their radios up to maximum power and making repeated attempt. This can suck your battery dry quite quickly. (I work in a basement office where my battery will go from full charge to dead in under four hours, compared to three days of standby use when at home.)
If you lose your cellphone network due to power outages during the storm, switch your phone to airplane mode to conserve its battery. Airplane mode switches off all the phone’s power hungry radios. There is really no purpose having them on and running the battery dry trying to connect when nothing is there to connect to. You should turn airplane mode back off (radios on), periodically, to see if the network is back online.
Try to get a full charge before the storm arrives and keep the battery topped off while you still have electricity. Have a car charger available, if possible. You should also minimize using your phone for any purpose to conserve battery life during a power outage. It’s better to have a phone with battery power available if needed for an emergency than to be be listening to music and playing games because you’re bored.
Hope you all get through the storm OK! Be safe!