Cell phone tips in a blizzard

Cell phone companies are offering tips to consumers on how to keep their devices going through the storm.

They recommend using the phone sparingly and making only brief calls, to avoid overwhelming the network. Where possible, people should send text messages instead of voice phone calls, because texts use less network capacity.

People should make sure their phones are fully charged. If possible, obtain spare batteries and charge them as well. Also, switch off phone features that drain power, if they don’t need them. For example, the phone’s Bluetooth, GPS and Wi-Fi features can be deactivated to extend battery life, and screen brightness can be turned down.

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People who must go outside should take extra care to keep their phones dry. If they can’t buy a water-resistant case, even wrapping it in a plastic bag can help. Also, long exposure to cold conditions will drain the battery, so keep the phone as warm as possible.