Monday, March 11, 2019
Cell Phones #Emergencies #Tips
With spring and summer storms coming, there will inevitably be power outages. For those who have kept landlines, that won't be a problem. But if you're like me and only have a cell phone...here's a few tips for surviving power outages with only a cell phone:
*Keep your phone charged.
*Buy a portable battery charger and keep it charged and ready. (They're small external batteries you can plug your phone into and charge up. They come in many different power amounts. I have both a small one that will do a single charge and a larger one that will charge several times. See what's available on Amazon. .)
*Set phone to battery saver in the phone's settings.
*Email and text people to save battery because phone calls drain the battery faster.
*Remember you can charge your phone in your car. One summer, our electric was out for over a week. We made a lot of trips to the theater for air-conditioned entertainment and charged our electronics as we drove!
Question all charges. Anything the phone company cannot properly explain, contact the FCC. A common bill problem is "cramming" or charging people for services without authorization.
*Report lost and stolen phones to your carrier.
*Know your carrier and how to reach them. My son's phone was stolen and we contacted AT&T and they helped us locate the phone to a specific address. We called our local police and the phone was turned over without a problem. (Do this quickly! Once the SIM card is removed, it's no longer traceable.)
*Wipe your phone. Almost all phones can be remotely cleared so there is no breach of personal information.
Miscellaneous phone tips:
*Back up your pictures: Periodically download picture to your computer.
OR share them to Facebook . You can post albums and pictures either by sharing with friends, or set to private so that only you can see them. Here's a good how-to share privately.
OR use Amazon Prime. If you're a prime member, you can download an app to your phone and computer and pictures will be downloaded to your Amazon account automatically.
*Don't answer calls from unknown numbers to avoid scammers. Cell phone numbers don't have caller ID like the old line phones did. Set up voicemail and allow all unrecognized numbers to go to voicemail. If they're legitimate calls, they will leave a message and you can call back.
*Password protect your phone. Not only does it stop a thief from getting your private information, if you're ever arrested, it stops you from sharing information with the police too prematurely. ;)