10 Ways to Charge Your Phone When The Power Is Out

by Tommy Grant

Many aspects of our lives rely upon electricity. But when the power goes out, one of our biggest fears is seeing the low battery warning on our phones.

With power outages increasing in many areas due to extreme weather events and an aging infrastructure, now is the time to learn how to keep your phone operating during an outage.

We’ll begin with ways to conserve your phone’s battery, and we’ll end with a list of ways you can charge your phone when the power is out.

Ways to conserve your phone battery

High winds and stormy weather can often alert us to the possibility of a power outage. But the grid can go down without warning. Therefore, it makes sense to get in the habit of conserving your phone’s battery life whenever you can. Here are some steps to do just that.

1. Lower the screen brightness level

All that extra backlight can drain your battery. Try turning on the “auto-brightness” button so your screen will dim automatically when you are in a dark location.

2. Turn off Wi-Fi

You don’t need your phone constantly looking for a hotspot. Try turning off this option when you’re connected to a signal to save battery life — and money on your data plan.

3. Use airplane mode

It’s not just for when you’re on a flight. Switching to airplane mode will help save power. You can turn it off when you really need to use your phone.

4. Close your apps

Sometimes, we forget to close an app after playing a game or watching a video. Other apps—like social media apps — can be draining our phone battery without us even realizing it. Check your battery feature on your phone to see which apps are using the most power and make some adjustments as needed. Downloading a battery-saving app like (Battery HD+) might give you some insight.

5. Disable location service

Only use location service when you need directions, and you’ll help your battery last longer.

6. Turn on low-power mode

Your phone probably alerts you when your battery charge gets below 20 percent. However, by enabling this setting before then, you can prolong battery life during a power outage.

7. Reduce notifications

Do you get notifications of games, social media mentions, or headline news? Limiting these alerts to only the most important will save your battery.

8. Disable Bluetooth

Get in the habit of restricting your phone’s access to Bluetooth when you don’t need it. Otherwise, your phone is constantly searching for a new connection and draining power while it’s at it.

9. Turn off vibrate

Did you know that using the vibrate setting uses more battery power than a ringtone? Turning off this feature will help conserve your charge, or you can keep your phone on silent when possible.

10. Disable voice control

To save battery life, turn off the ability to give your phone voice commands.

11. Limit voice calls

Communicate via text rather than calls when battery conservation is of critical importance.

12. Turn your phone off

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t do it when they need to save battery power. Make sure the phone completely powers down for the best results.

Ways to charge your phone when the power is out

By now, you hopefully have learned a new way or two to prolong your phone’s battery charge. However, even when using these methods, the power can still run out during a prolonged power outage. The good news is that there are some ways to keep your phone running when you can’t simply plug your charger into the wall. Here they are.

1. Use a battery pack

Portable battery packs are for more than just travel or hiking. Having a fully charged battery pack on hand will help keep your mobile device running during a blackout. You can find a wide variety of battery packs online and in stores with different features and price points.

2. Try a charging phone case

Another option is to put your phone in a case that protects and charges it at the same time.

3. Consider a solar charger

These handy chargers use sunlight to power up. Some include other handy features like flashlights and compasses. Here are solar-powered lanterns that have USB ports.

4. Connect to your laptop

When using your phone is a priority, you can connect it to your laptop for a battery boost.

5. Crank it up

A hand-crank charger is a valuable emergency tool. We recommend getting a hand-cranked radio that offers charging ports, flashlights, and more.

6. Use your portable speaker

 Many Bluetooth speakers come equipped with USB ports that allow you to power up your phone.

7. Connect with your car’s battery

Don’t forget the power you have in your vehicle when it comes to charging your phone. If you have an older vehicle without USB ports, you can find cigarette lighter adaptors that accept USB cables.

8. Fire it up

Some wood-fired camp stoves – like this one – have USB ports for phone charging. Of course, this method is for outside use only.

9. DIY charger

You can make your own phone charger if you are in a pinch. This video demonstrates how to make one using a tin mint container, car USB adaptor, USB cable, and two 9-volt batteries. You’ll find other DIY approaches in this article.

10. Invest in a portable power station

What if you want to keep multiple devices going in an extended power outage? A portable charger unit may be the answer. You can check out some options here.

A final tip is to maintain your cell phone’s charge when bad weather is on the way. And, in case you were wondering, it’s a good idea to unplug your cell phone from its wall charger during a blackout. While it is unlikely that a surge will damage your phone when the power returns, it is a possibility for all electronics.

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