The recent cold spell that hit much of the nation last week probably wasn’t good for your mobile connectivity. And today for tens of thousands waiting outside for the Presidential inauguration in the nation’s capital, there was probably some outages – and not just because of too many people dialing and texting at the same time. The simple truth is that cold weather can affect mobile phones, so if your handset is your lifeline to the outside world, you should take the steps to insure that it will be ready when you need it.
Verizon Wireless offers these tips:
- Charge your phone or PDA frequently. Cold temperatures can run down the phone’s battery charge more quickly. Use your car charger to keep your phone’s charge if you get stranded or stuck in traffic due to winter weather.
- Handle your handset with care. The display cover can become brittle when exposed to cold temperatures for long periods of time.
- Keep your phone in a warm place; avoid leaving it in an outside pocket or backpack or in the car overnight. Prolonged exposure to the cold may affect the phone’s display screen. When outside in the cold weather, carry your phone in an inside jacket pocket, keeping it close to your body for warmth.
- Check your phone’s signal strength in a non-emergency situation to know where the signal is strong and where it’s not.
- Maintain a list of emergency phone numbers: police, fire and rescue agencies; power companies; insurance providers; family, friends and co-workers; etc. and program them into your phone. Add highway department and school numbers to check for local road and school closings and “no tow” orders.
- Be prepared before heading outside by checking weather, traffic and news reports available on most wireless phones.
To Verizon’s sound advice, we offer a few addition tips:
- Consider using a Bluetooth headset if you need to talk while on the go, so you can keep the phone in your pocket. This will keep your phone warm and you won’t even have to take the gloves off to hold up the phone.
- Invest in a second battery and keep it charged as well. This way if the cold zaps your power you can still make those calls. Likewise, portable/disposable chargers are a good idea too, but remember that these can also be plagued by cold weather.
- Consider a case or shell for your mobile. While it might not provide enough added warmth, it will protect your phone if you fumble and drop it while wearing winter gloves.