How to Keep Your Tech Going in a Power Outage
by Tech Mainstream
December 3, 2020
(Tech Mainstream) Technology is driven and depends on a constant supply of electicity. When the power is out, technology is essentially out. Power Outages occur everyday. According to Wikipedia there are three different types of power outages:
"A transient fault is a loss of power typically caused by a fault on a power line. Power is automatically restored once the fault is cleared.
A brownout is a drop in voltage in an electrical power supply. The term brownout comes from the dimming experienced by lighting when the voltage sags. Brownouts can cause poor performance of equipment or even incorrect operation.
A blackout is the total loss of power to an area and is the most severe form of power outage that can occur. Blackouts which result from or result in power stations tripping are particularly difficult to recover from quickly. Outages may last from a few minutes to a few weeks depending on the nature of the blackout and the configuration of the electrical network."
Several websites give real time power outage information including input from residents in the current affected area, namely Poweroutage.us and Poweroutage.report. Wireless Emergency Alerts sent out by the National Weather Service via smartphones, and NOAA Weather Radio over radio, alert users to natural disasters which will likely produce power outages.
A significant source of power outages is space weather:
"When storms in outer space occur near Earth or in Earth's upper atmosphere, we call it space weather. Rather than the more commonly known weather within our atmosphere (rain, snow, heat, wind, etc.), space weather originates from the Sun. It comes in the form of solar storms and geomagnetic storms—which happen in the Earth’s upper atmosphere—caused by disturbances on the Sun."
Power surges can cause damage to electrical devices. Disconnecting appliances and electronics in a power outage to avoid damage from electrical surges is a good idea, especially when the power is turned back on. Otherwise a surge protector is an excellent idea for electrical surges.
Store up on batteries, solar-powered battery chargers and keep a number of power banks around before the power goes out. This online guide for Best Portable 50,000mAh+ Chargers in 2020 is especially helpful in selecting a power bank that will keep your devices running for awhile. Keeping mobile phones and electrical devices charged before the power goes out is essential- Anker's Nano is a good choice. These types of solutions are primarily for temporary power outages.
A portable solar or electric/battery generator (which is safer than a gasoline or propane powered generator) can be used to power, for example, a laptop for hours. Even an uninteruptible power source (UPS) can maintain a device for many minutes or hours depending on the model and battery capacity. A UPS Battery Backup offers both surge protection and battery backup.
Besides electrical devices not working after a power outages, other issues will occur including food safety, safe drinking water, medications and extreme heat and cold. A useful resource for power outage survival can be found at Ready.gov.