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Are you ready for the next power outage?

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Published in Science & Technology News

My mom experienced a power outage at her home recently, and she was prepared, but not all of her neighbors were, so I figure it is good to think about what you should have on hand to deal with a brief power outage (up to 8 hours).

A whole-home generator, tied into your home’s electrical system, is a great solution, but they can be expensive. A portable gas-powered generator is also good.

My mom has a large battery-powered power station that she wheels around as needed. It can run her coffee maker, lights, fan and keep her portable devices charged for a few days.

Manufacturers like Jackery, Bluetti and EcoFlow make a variety of different sized power stations. Their big advantage is being able to use them indoors and take them where the power is needed.

There are larger models that can power things like your refrigerator or freezer for a few days, but battery generators eventually need to be recharged, either through electricity, 12-volt vehicle power outlets or solar panels, so they are not as convenient as a long-term power solution.

I’ve got a review of a new Bluetti power station in the works.

So far, the power outages at mom’s house have been short. Mom’s power station hasn’t run out of power before she gets her power restored.

 

At a minimum you should have one or more external batteries to keep your phone charged during an extended power outage.

When buying an external battery, the specification you’ll want to know is the capacity. My iPhone 13 Pro Max has a battery capacity of 4,350 milliamp-hours. If I buy a 10,000 mAh external battery, it will charge my iPhone twice.

I’d recommend a 20,000 mAh battery (or larger) for each member of your household.

You can also keep a phone charged or charge up an external battery from a running vehicle.

Next week I’ll make some recommendations for an emergency kit to keep in your home for when power goes out for a day or even a week.

Of course, these scenarios depend on cell service still operating, which is not a given in power outages, depending on the severity of the situation.


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