NEW ORLEANS -- Chances are you could lose power this weekend when Tropical Storm Nate comes ashore, and that means you could lose the ability to charge your phone.
So how do you keep your cell powered on during a power outage? A few of the simple tips below can keep you connected to your friends, family and the news.
PORTABLE CELL PHONE CHARGER: You can find these pocket-size accessories at almost any drug store and they will usually cost anywhere from $10 to $20. Most can charge your phone about four times before they die.
LOWER SCREEN BRIGHTNESS: The brighter your screen, the more of your battery it’ll drain. You can go into your setting to lower the brightness or on an iPhone you can also swipe up on your homescreen to get to your brightness settings.
TURN OF WIFI AND BLUETOOTH: The amount of energy your cellphone uses to try to connect to WiFi and Bluetooth devices can easily zap its power. Turn off those settings when the electricity goes out.
TURN ON YOUR RINGER: Your cellphone uses more power when its on vibrate than when its ringer is on. This little change can give you a little more time with your phone.
TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS: Any apps that have notifications will help to drain your battery faster. Turn off any unnecessary notifications, such as Facebook friend requests, when you’re trying to conserve battery life.
TURN OFF AUTOMATIC EMAIL REFRESH: Your phone is great at letting you know when you have a new email since it’s probably always searching for them. Go into your email settings to turn off automatic updates and only check your inbox every so often if you can’t charge your phone.
SHORTEN SCREEN TIMEOUT: If you’re not using your phone, make sure your screen isn’t on. Your phone will often turn off on its own, but you can control how soon it does so.
TURN YOUR PHONE OFF: It’s true that turning on your phone can drain your battery, but turning it off when you won’t use it for an extended period of time will actually help your save battery power.
CLOSE APPS: Anytime you open an app, it keeps running in the background even when you’re done with it. Turn off apps entirely to make sure they’re not quietly draining your battery. On an iPhone, double tap the home button to see what apps are running and which ones you need to close.
TURN OFF GPS AND LOCATION SERVICES: One of the largest battery-drainers are services that track your location. Considering you’ll probably be home for a while during tropical weather, go ahead and turn off these settings.