California's largest energy supplier on Wednesday began to reduce power supply to customers in Northern and Central California due to an increased fire risk due to dry conditions and strong wind forecasts. PG&E's planned blackouts can affect as many as 800,000 customers in nearly three dozen provinces, with utility officials warning that it can take seven days for everyone to regain power.
PG&E turns off the power to prevent a repeat of last year, when its equipment was blamed for starting a fire in the foothills of California. The power outage could spread to Southern California, as Edison in Southern California warned that it could also shut off the power due to fire hazard.
If you have an area planned to lose power ̵
Check if you are in a planned power outage area
PG&E has a page that you can check to see if you are in an area that is planned to lose power.
If the utility page is not available, you can find other cards that can give you an idea if you are in a power outage.
Charge before the power goes out
The goal is outage with all your devices and energy sources supplemented.
- If you have a portable power bank you must charge it before the power goes out. A power bank will not withstand you for a week of uninterrupted power, but you may be able to get through several days if you turn on your phone to get updates and then turn it off again. And limit how often you check your phone: every time you switch it on, the battery runs out.
- If you have a portable solar charger that can charge your phone, keep it ready.
- If you do not have a power bank or solar charger, you may still have a power source. You can use the battery in a laptop – or your current or an older laptop that you have retired – to power your phone during blackout. You need to find the right cables to make the connection, but you need a few days to have power for your phone. And if you are a group with multiple phones, consider allowing the group to use only one shared phone at a time instead of turning on everyone's phone at a time.
Saving your phone's battery
As long as possible, you can take a few steps to take care of it through the malfunction.
- First turn off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS unless you need them to get help in an emergency. You can keep your mobile connection switched on because mobile providers have said that their networks must be available via the blackout.
- Then turn off push notifications and avoid streaming services that run on a battery. And dim your display: clear screens are great, but they use a lot of power.
- If you do not want to turn off your phone, switch to airplane mode, which turns off all current-taking radios. If you then want to make a call or send a message, take it out of airplane mode. And consider sending fast text messages instead of calling, which can cause a battery to drag and drain.
- Your phone may have a battery saving mode that you can enable in settings that limit high power activities.
For more battery saving ideas, see our guide for more information on how your battery will last as long as possible due to a blackout.
How do you survive a power failure otherwise
During a power failure you have other things to worry about except your phone.