With Tropical Storm Barry taking aim at Louisiana, widespread flooding and power outages are possible. Your cellphone could become even more of an essential tool than it already is. Here are some tips to keep it up and running when you can't plug it into the wall.

Keep it charged before the storm hits

It seems like a no-brainer, but we forget. With a storm coming, it's a good idea to make sure your battery is plugged in and fully charged as part of your game-time routine.

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Use an external battery

Most external batteries can charge your phone multiple times over, or even multiple devices at once. But they're useless if they aren't charged ahead of time. Again, if you own an external battery, make sure it's charged BEFORE the storm hits.

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Use your laptop

A fully charged laptop can help keep your phone up-and-running in an emergency situation. Get it fully charged before hand and plug your phone in via USB.

Use your car

Most modern cars come with a USB port or a power inverter, but even if yours doesn't have one, most gas stations sell cheap USB ports that plug into your cigarette lighter.

If you do charge your phone in your car, make sure you do it OUTSIDE. Running your engine in an enclosed space for long amounts of time can be extremely dangerous and even deadly.

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Close your apps

You can do a few things with your phones software to keep your battery running as well. Close your apps, turn down the screen brightness, turn off wifi and bluetooth.

Text, don't call

If you can, text instead of calling. Making a phone call can quickly drain your phone's battery life, much more so than texting.