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  1. #1
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Default Need suggestions on best choice to stay connected during power outages

    It was difficult not being able to let people online know that we were okay, and also not being able to watch TV or access the internet to see what was going on. The radio wasn't the best at giving out certain information and would often direct people to "go to our website". So, I think it's worth it to spend a little to be better prepared in the future, but I'm not sure what route to take that will fit within our finances and offer the access I need.

    Should I just smarten up my cell phone a bit? Get a tablet? Get a laptop?

    What are the pros and cons to each (cell towers down, costs too much, difficult to recharge during outage)?

    Anyone have any experience with what worked best for you?
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Smart phone or something else with data is probably the easiest option to get internet for power outages - not exactly sure how good the networks are during a widespread power outage, but probably better than any alternatives. If you could count on wifi being available somewhere (generator or whatever), laptop/netbook would also work. Smart phones can access wifi too so presumably (?) could still do that if something was wrong with the cell towers. You can get a smart phone for under 200$ now, no contract, if you aren't too picky about the bells and whistles. Or for free with a very reasonable contract if you shop around.

    For just hearing the news, a battery- or hand-powered radio is probably the most reliable, or just connecting with your neighbours who probably have something similar.

    (disclaimer: theoretical only, was not in that situation luckily. glad you're ok though!)
    -end of thread-

  3. #3
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    Battery powered AM radio.

    Don't bother with the FM band. AM is where it's at if you want to find out about anything.

  4. #4
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestions, @Randomnity and @sprinkles.

    I'll look into getting a smarter phone. I just got the one I have two years ago and it's already so outdated that it isn't even funny. I guess I'll just have to budget to keep up-to-date in case of emergencies.

    I'll have to check out the AM stations here a little better. The FM station we listened to this time was a talk station, so most of the information was from people calling in, which was good if they were in my area, but useless to me if they weren't. Knowing whether the Lincoln Tunnel was open or not was useful to lots of people who commute, but not to me.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  5. #5
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    all I could find was this:

    http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/emerg...tion/tips.html

    I suppose looking at their suggestions if data/network traffic is a problem then try text message/instant message. Most smartphones can do both
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Well, it depends on how safe you want to be, exactly.

    Scenario 1: Normal Power Failure

    You would be fine with a smartphone, and some way of charging it like the above posters have said.

    Scenario 2: Communication Infrastructure Failure

    This assumes that even the cell towers are affected by whatever has occurred. In this case, you might need something a bit different.

    There are such things as Satellite Internet and Satellite Phones. These don't rely on the local cell towers, and are often the only way of getting service out in the middle of a desert or something.

  7. #7
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Thanks, @UniqueMixture. The link had some good info.

    The first two days, I couldn't even get a signal because cell towers were down and my phone isn't capable of accessing wifi. Maybe if I get a wifi capable phone, I'll be better off. As for text messaging and IM--well, you're talking about old people here--none of my siblings text or IM. One of them can't even retrieve voice mail from her cell phone without a big production. I know, I know...it's sad. *shakes head in shame for having such non-tech-savvy siblings* Having email and FaceBook access would work best for me, so it's looking like getting a smarter phone is probably the answer.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  8. #8
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Ooh! @Athenian200, I'll have to do some research into satellite phones. Are they expensive?


    ETA: Only $1100 for the phone. Ummm, I think that's more than I can afford. There were cheaper ones, but still too expensive for me. Plus plan costs.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  9. #9
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    Ooh! @Athenian200, I'll have to do some research into satellite phones. Are they expensive?


    ETA: Only $1100 for the phone. Ummm, I think that's more than I can afford. There were cheaper ones, but still too expensive for me. Plus plan costs.
    http://www.androidauthority.com/best...s-2012-104192/
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  10. #10
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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