Preparing for Power Outages

People whose jobs or businesses involve being online most of the time (which includes probloggers like us) have to rely on power to get things done. But acts of nature can potentially hamper our productivity by pulling the plug just when we need to publish that blog post, send that proposal by email, or seal that deal via videoconferencing.

I remember the last time a super typhoon hit our archipelago, my city had no power for five days. We also lost phone (and DSL) service, so even if I could run on laptop batteries, I could still not connect to the Internet. I had to rely on generator- and WiFi-enabled cafés just to communicate with my colleagues and clients, and post blog entries. I also had to charge my laptops and cellphones in cafés and restaurants, which a lot of other people also did, so the establishments that allowed plugging in were jampacked.

Now that another super storm is coming, I should be better prepared than the last time.


Another super typhoon coming! Image from wunderground.com

Yugatech has some tips on how to be tech-ready for such disasters. First priority is getting all your battery-operated gadgets juiced up, and this includes laptops, iPods, cellphones, and even your UPS if you have one. Buying spare batteries for devices that take off-the-shelf cells also helps.

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And then when the actual loss of electricity comes, it makes sense to conserve power. If you must turn on your laptop, do plan ahead on what to do before booting up, so you can save some time while actually powered up. I can say Mac laptops are better than PC ones in this regard, because sleep consumes very little power, and waking up only take a couple of seconds; in contrast, Windows takes an awful lot of time to sleep and wake up. It’s also best to minimize consumption (like dimming your screen) and to stay away from potentially power-draining uses of your devices that are unnecessary, such as playing videos and the like.

If you have a car, you can also get power inverter so you can plug in your 110V or 220V gadgets. Just be sure the wattage is enough to match your device (most laptops consume less than 90 Watts).

Of course, you can always just enjoy the offline time and treat it as a vacation. Here’s where a good book (and not an e-book!) can come in handy.

Whether you call it a hurricane, typhoon, storm, or whatever, it pays to be prepared when you anticipate natural disasters to occur in the near future. I’m thankful that I have enough time to prepare.

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