The Westwood Press ran this article today with the usual assortment of basic advice. One comment, though was a good reminder: “Consider investing in a cell phone and always keep it charged. Phones can be charged with a car phone charger, an emergency phone charger, or at a public building that has emergency power.” Modern smart phones can do all kinds of helpful tasks in an emergency, especially if the cell towers are up and running.  However, they do have a much shorter battery life than their less intelligent ancestors. If you car has a full tank of gas to keep its own battery topped off, you can easily keep your cell phone going. The phone’s car charger will just sip electrons from the car’s battery. But, if you have a DC to AC Power Inverter, your car can also keep your refrigerator cold by letting it run for an hour and chill back down a few times a day. The inverter in the link above also has a USB port that can be used for charging the USB devices scattered around your house. You’ll need to budget about a gallon of gas for each hour that you idle your engine while the inverter is running.

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