Actually, there is only one aspect of cell phones in an emergency that I want to address. How do you charge your cell phone in an emergency?
In April 2011, a tornado shut down our town as it ripped through. I had no power for five days. Other people had to wait ten days for power to be restored. Fortunately, this happened in late April when the need for air conditioning or heat was not at all necessary.
My cell phone was practically useless because of the destruction of all the towers. Yes, all of them! However, once portable towers were brought in the next day, I was back in business. Then, the lines were jammed with callers. Back in business, but, cell phones need recharging. I could plug mine in the car cigarette lighter. Other people said their car had to be running to charge their cells. They did not have enough gas to turn it on for cell charging. Gas stations were not open ! Luckily, I had 2/3 tank of gas.
Do you know if your cell will recharge plugged into the lighter or usb port if you car is newer and has ports?
Of course, there was no wifi anywhere in town. Soon, the city set up massive equipment to charge cells, run computers, and furnish wifi. Some people had no car chargers, so they had to recharge their chargers in electric outlets at the recharging station the city set up in a park.
Most of the people had dead cell phones. They plugged them into an outlet and then immediately started talking! This was very discouraging to me. I wanted to plug in my laptop and use the wifi. I ventured to suggest that maybe they could get a full charge if they turned off their phone and quit talking. Three very large women, three generations, with free cells, no teeth, and carpooling yelled at me. Am I wrong about the length of time to charge a cell in use versus charging a cell that has been turned off?
Sure, I could use my battery power in the laptop to use the internet. But, I wanted to conserve that power. I didn't and still don't have an inverter for my car. Finally, I found that BAM had wifi and paid $20 for the privilege of having a card to use their wifi. Well, I got sidetracked with laptop and wifi. Back to the cell phone.
I have a cell phone charger in the house that allows me to use an electric outlet or the usb port in my laptop. In the car I have two chargers. One is strictly "cigarette lighter to cell." The other can be used in a usb port, cigarette lighter, or in an electric outlet, plus it has multiple tips for any cell phone. These are all cheap chargers. None of them has ruined my cell phone. The only reason I have two chargers in the car is because I lost one and bought the second one for $7 at WM.
The reason I am so concerned about having the cell charged and the ability to charge it under any circumstance is not because of an over-reliance on the device. Since I am limited in my capabilities, I just want the reassurance that my cell phone always works and I have the ability to charge it under any circumstances. I worry about car problems and having to walk plus no electricity for cell recharging Of course, considering my town is a magnet for tornadoes, having a way to charge a cell phone without having electricity readily available.
Really, I want a small solar charger for my cell phone, but have not managed to afford one. Plus, I have not done any research to determine what is best, cheapest, and what I need.
Do you have a car charger for you cell phone in your car? Do you know if the charger works when the car is not running? Must you have the ignition on to charge your cell phone? Are you like my daughter who says she always charges it at home and does not own or need a car charger? In an emergency situation without electrical power have you used the emergency cell charging services provided by your town or state? Do you have a solar charger for the cell phone? What kind?