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Technology How to survive the PG&E power shutdown and keep your devices charged

16:10  10 october  2019
16:10  10 october  2019 Source:   cnet.com

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PG & E lowers the power to avoid a repeat of last year when its equipment was accused of starting a fire in the foothills of California. The goal is to go into power outage with all your mobile devices and portable energy sources topped off. A Power Bank can Keep your phone charged .

PG & E is cutting the power to avoid a repeat of last year, when its equipment was blamed for starting a fire in the California foothills. If you're in an area of California scheduled to lose How else to survive a power shutdown . During a power outage, you have other things to worry about besides your phone.

California's largest energy provider on Wednesday began cutting power to customers across Northern and Central California because of heightened fire risk due to dry conditions and forecasts of high winds. PG&E's planned blackouts may affect as many as 800,000 customers across nearly three dozen counties, with utility officials warning it may take seven days to restore power to everyone.

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PG&E is cutting the power to avoid a repeat of last year, when its equipment was blamed for starting a fire in the California foothills. The blackouts might spread to Southern California, as Southern California Edison warned it may also be shutting off power due to fire risk.

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How to keep your devices charged up during a blackout. How to use an old laptop as a battery backup during a hurricane-related blackout. Power restoration may begin Thursday around noon. However, PG & E has also warned that power outages could last for several days or even more in

PG & E lowers power to avoid a repeat of last year when its equipment was accused of starting a fire in the California foot. 1; or want to be ready for power outages – you can take a handful of steps now to help your electronic devices last as long as possible during interrupt.

If you're an area scheduled to lose power -- or want to ensure you're ready if the power does go out -- you can take a handful of steps now to help your electronic devices last as long as possible during the outage.

Check if you're in a planned power outage area

PG&E has a page you can check if you're in an area scheduled to lose power. The page is frequently unavailable, but you can find other maps to give you an idea if you're in an outage area.

Charge up before the power goes out

The goal is go into the outage with all your devices and energy sources topped off.

  • If you have a portable power bank, make sure you've charged it up before the power goes out. A power bank won't get you through a week of uninterrupted power, but you may be able to get through several days if you turn on your phone to get updates then power it down again. And limit how often you check your phone: Each time you turn it on, you're draining the battery.
  • If you've got a portable solar charger that can charge your phone, have that ready.
  • If you don't have a power bank or solar charger, you still may have a source of power. You can use the battery in a laptop -- either your current one or an older laptop you've retired -- to power your phone during the blackout. You'll need to find the right cables to make the connection, but you should be able to squeeze a few days of power for your phone. And if you're a group with multiple phones, consider having the group use just one shared phone at a time instead of having everyone's phone turned on at once.

Conserve your phone's battery

To help your phone battery last as long as possible, you can take a few steps to nurse it through the outage.

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PG & E lowers the power to avoid a repeat of last year when its equipment was accused of starting a fire in the foothills of California. 1; or want to make sure you are ready for power outages – you can take a handful of steps now to help your electronic devices last as long as possible during the interruption.

How to keep your devices charged up during a blackout. How to use an old laptop as a battery backup during a hurricane-related blackout. How else to survive a power shutdown . During a power outage, you have other things to worry about besides your phone. If you have an emergency

  • First, turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS, unless you need them to get help in an emergency. You can keep your mobile connection on, because mobile carriers said their networks should be available through the blackout.
  • Next, turn off push notifications and avoid streaming services, which take a hit on a battery. And dim your display: Bright screens are great, but they draw a lot of power.
  • If you don't want to shut off your phone, switch to airplane mode, which turns off all the power-draining radios. Then if you want to make a call or send a message, take it out of airplane mode. And consider sending quick text messages instead of making calls, which can drag on and drain a battery.
  • Your phone may have a battery-saver mode you can turn on in settings that will restrict high-power activities.

For more battery-conserving ideas, see our guide for more on how to get your battery to last as long as possible through a blackout.

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PG & E has said it will shut down electricity in high-risk areas for “multiple” days if the risk of sparking power lines could cause wildfires. Keep a hard copy of emergency phone numbers, and identify a backup method for charging your cellphone. Make sure you know how to manually open your garage

Here’s how some Bay Area businesses and residents circumvented the PG & E power blackout. Businesses and homeowners increasingly turn But then his Tesla Powerwall batteries – charged by solar panels — fired up. He stopped charging his car, instead devoting the batteries to his refrigerator

How else to survive a power shutdown

If you have an emergency go bag or kit, grab it. You'll want to have easy access to any light sources, tools, cash and other supplies you've packed up for an emergency.

If you have time before the power goes out, you can take a few steps to ensure your phone can help you in an emergency.

And finally, to make it through however long you're without power, here are 14 things you can do during a power outage.

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