Most of the advice we hear when preparing to travel during a winter storm has remained unchanged for generations. For instance, fill up your tank with gas, carry extra blankets, a flashlight, and some food and water.
But here’s something Grandma never had to consider—make sure your cell phone battery is ready.
It’s a lesson Atlantians would have benefited from when a January 28 snowstorm left thousands stranded in their cars overnight. To add insult to injury, many had to watch helplessly as their cell batteries slowly died, eliminating one of their few connections to the outside world.
As East Tennessee prepares for a winter storm that could dump 3-5 inches of snow in the valley Wednesday and Thursday, AAA is offering the following suggestions to make sure your cell phone battery is prepared in case you get stranded:
· Turn the phone off; only turn it on when you are expecting or making a call
· If in an area with no reception, turn off the phone to prevent it from constantly searching for service (even with automatic power save features, it can take up to 30 minutes and it is depleting your battery)
· Limit use of the vibrate function on your phone; use a ring tone as it uses less of the battery’s power
· Don’t use extra features such as the internet, WIFI, GPS, camera phone, and hands-free device; additionally limit use of the back light or turn it off to prolong the battery
According to a AAA survey, less than half of respondents reported turning off extra features on their cell phones in order to conserve battery life.