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Stay connected when the power goes out

Thursday - 10/25/2012, 6:49pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Batten down the hatches and grab the flashlights. Now head to your mobile command center, your car.

When the power goes out from a big storm, it's how can you stay connected and keep all your technology charged.

First, if you're at home, make sure you open the garage door with the manual release.

Remember, if you're using your car battery to power your devices, you want to be sure and run the engine so you don't drain your battery.

Now, use your power wisely. Prioritize your device charging in this order: First your phone, so you can stay connected. Then your tablet, and finally your laptop.

Most tablets these days have a long battery life, so you can get work done during the outage. If you don't have an internet connection, look to your phone.

Almost all smartphones can be used as a hotspot with tethering. Check with your provider and know how to do it before the storm hits.

Grab yourself a dual USB 12-volt charger, lots of companies make them like the Griffin PowerJolt.

Now you can plug any USB cable into the car and keep your tablets and phones running.

For your laptop, get a power inverter Belkin makes one that can power two devices from the 12-volt power in your car.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)