Hurricane-Related Tip

Cidu Bill on Oct 28th 2012

If the power goes out, switch off the wi-fi on your cell phone so it doesn’t run down the battery searching for a signal that isn’t there.

Filed in Bill Bickel, Hurricane Sandy, cell phones | 19 responses so far

19 Responses to “Hurricane-Related Tip”

  1. PeterW Oct 28th 2012 at 02:38 am 1

    I’ve got an Android phone from Verizon, and I think I can’t really do anything to completely turn off the wi-fi short of rooting it and installing a mod. I turn it off with the tool provided, and then I’ll be messing around with it and open an internet-enabled app and get the system message pop up “Known wi-fi networks are available. Would you like to turn on wi-fi? Yes/Not Now/Remind Me later.”

  2. Cidu Bill Oct 28th 2012 at 02:50 am 2

    Peter, if you go to Settings and then Wireless and Network, you should be able to uncheck the Wi-fi box. I do this all the time with my Androids.

  3. Proginoskes Oct 28th 2012 at 04:04 am 3

    I keep that in mind, if I ever get a cell phone … or get wi-fi … or move somewhere that has hurricanes …

  4. Soup Dragon Oct 28th 2012 at 06:07 am 4

    No cell phone or wi-fi? Freak! :-)

  5. James Pollock Oct 28th 2012 at 07:46 am 5

    Cellphones are for teenagers and people who like to interrupt movies.

  6. farmer Oct 28th 2012 at 08:12 am 6

    Wife & are early 30s & have no cell phone. Yes, we’re freaks, but we do exist…and we get every type of severe weather possible on this continent.

  7. The Bad Seed Oct 28th 2012 at 08:45 am 7

    You can also turn off the bluetooth on your phone and the GPS locator service to save battery, and have it check for email less often. I have the iPad check for email more often - in case some time-critical email comes (?) - because its battery lasts a whole lot longer.

  8. The Bad Seed Oct 28th 2012 at 08:50 am 8

    By the way, I’m a geologist for an environmental company, and I’m required to have a cell phone - for health and safety reasons, business continuity, and general logistics. Plus I grew up in the country, where it wasn’t unusual to lose landline service for a day or 2 or more during storms, and now that everyone seems to have phones that require electricity and/or phone service that requires a modem, a cell phone is a must.

  9. Jeff S. Oct 28th 2012 at 11:15 am 9

    We sell weather radios with cranks for backup power. They also have USB ports, so you can actually charge up your cell phone. If there is a tower available, you can crank up enough power to make a call.

  10. Mark in Boston Oct 28th 2012 at 07:32 pm 10

    Well, I’ll tell you what I do. Just to be safe, I — excuse me, I have to take this.

    Hello? Yeah, I got that text-to-speech thing I told you about. I’ve been using it for the last couple of days. It really works. So what’s up? Next Tuesday? OK, I’ll be there. Bye for now.

    I’m back. What was I saying? Oh well, it can’t have been important.

  11. Elyrest Oct 28th 2012 at 07:45 pm 11

    ” I grew up in the country, where it wasn’t unusual to lose landline service for a day or 2 or more during storms”

    The Bad Seed - I have lived in the country and the city and I have never lost my landline phone. Everything else can have failed, but the phone has always worked. And having lived in a place where we lost power for over a week on more than one occasion (in winter too) a landline is a must.

  12. PeterW Oct 28th 2012 at 11:25 pm 12

    “Peter, if you go to Settings and then Wireless and Network, you should be able to uncheck the Wi-fi box. I do this all the time with my Androids.”

    That’s what I do (well, I use the shortcut in the pulldown menu, but it gets me to exactly the same place). It keeps scanning and asking.

  13. tristara Oct 28th 2012 at 11:53 pm 13

    PeterW is right, turning off WiFi on some androids just means “don’t use wifi”. I have mine turned off all the time, but it still scans and keeps the info just in case I change my mind one of the 900 times a day it asks me. The only true way I have found to stop it is “airplane mode” but that kills all connectivity and not even the phone and txt work then. :(

  14. Meryl A Oct 29th 2012 at 02:27 am 14

    We have wifi when the power goes off. The local cable co has installed in assorted areas and our street is a main street so they installed it here. Last year with hurricane Irene we had no electricity for 4 days, but we could turn on the laptops and access the wifi from the cable co.

    Husband who just came in says he never turns on the wifi in his phone unless he needs to use it. Mine is not a smartphone, so it doesn’t have it.

  15. The Bad Seed Oct 29th 2012 at 05:57 am 15

    Elyrest - I didn’t even grow up very far in the country, just about halfway between Philadelphia and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a mere mile from Route 202 (and only 6 ft from a fairly major secondary road), but they prioritize the more populated areas when repairing phone lines. In June 1997 we went without power for 5 days and without phone for 4, after a tornado tore through this area. We kept our cell phones charged up via our cars.

  16. Mary in Ohio Oct 29th 2012 at 05:41 pm 16

    Elyrest - since they came along and buried our phone lines our landlines are safe too. But when they were up on poles, all it had to do was RAIN and the phones were out. So it could happen either way.

  17. Kilby Oct 29th 2012 at 07:22 pm 17

    My (slightly dated) experience was that on the east coast, summer lighting and winter snow-related outages occur fairly frequently, but occasionally got corrected within 5 to 10 minutes. On the other hand, outages were very rare in southern California (more underground cables), but whenever one occurred in LA or San Diego, then the power would be off for at least 3 hours.

    Landline phones wires carry their own power which will keep a standard phone running, but that does not help if you use a wireless unit that needs independent power to run the wireless link or charge the battery in the handset. That’s one small step forward for convenience, one giant leap backwards for dependability.

  18. Mark in Boston Oct 31st 2012 at 12:05 am 18

    Wait a minute. Does this mean that if you go driving for several hours on the Interstate, where there may be cell service but there usually isn’t Wi-Fi, your phone battery will run down faster than if you stayed at home?

  19. CIDU Bill Oct 31st 2012 at 05:23 pm 19

    As I understand it, Mark, yes (but since I keep my phone plugged into the charger when I drive, it isn’t anything I worry about)

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