How To Keep Your Cell Phone Charged During A Power Outage

(possibly the best cell phone charger for when the power goes out)

When there’s a regional power outage and the power goes out, your cell phone will keep on working – at least until the battery drains.

Then what? During the time of Hurricane Sandy I recall reading articles describing how people were desperately looking for ways to charge up their cell phones for communications with loved ones.

It was a great example of what will happen when the power is out for more than just a few hours and the need for a solution to the problem of recharging portable USB devices such as your cell phone.

Well here’s an effective way to keep your cell phones charged when the grid does down or while you are off-grid:

I will point out three products.

1. A power storage device (USB external battery) which is capable of charging your USB devices many times over.

2. A popular USB wall charger to initially charge the USB external battery.

3. A USB solar charger.


Portable USB External Battery For Charging Your Cell Phone

Anker PowerCore 10000

I have owned one of these USB external batteries for a while and have been impressed with it’s functionality and ability to recharge my USB devices many times over.

The brand ‘Anker’ is apparently #1 in this category.

How It Works

It’s simple – you first ‘charge up’ the USB external battery ‘power bank’ by using a USB wall charger.

The following is currently the most popular “Anker” brand USB wall charger:

Anker 40W/8A 5-Port USB Charger

Once it’s charged, the USB external battery will subsequently charge any cell phone (and many other USB devices) from it’s USB ports using “PowerIQ” technology.

Anker’s PowerIQ technology recognizes what type of device that’s connected and charges it at the appropriate specification for that device.

This is great for preparedness and any off-grid condition where you might need to recharge your cell phone or nearly any other USB device.

If you travel, this will be a handy way to charge your devices without having to search out a wall receptacle.


Solar Charger For Cell Phones

For a more permanent or long-lasting solution to charge your cell phone or USB devices without grid-power, the following solar charger will get the job done.

Anker 21W Dual USB Solar Charger

Similar to the previous Anker product, their solar charger uses USB ports to charge your cell phone, USB external battery, or other USB devices.

How It Works

Set it in the sun! Plug in your device!

It’s 21 watt capability also uses ‘PowerIQ’ technology to automatically detect your device and charge it according to the specifications of the device itself.

Well that’s it – I thought I would point out these solutions to charge electronic devices like cell phones during a power outage.

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I have an emergency weather radio with a hand crank and solar panel that can charge a cell phone.

I also consider the RV, the car, or the truck as an alternative charge source.

Of course there are also the four generators.

I was thinking the same thing. 4 vehicles, a generator, an emergency hand crank solar radio and a portable power source. The portable power source can do anything DC from 3v-12v can recharge from a vehicle or ac in a house and has a light built in.

What would you recommend as a good Battery-Charger (AA, AAA, C, D and so on)to go along with this Solar Power?

Goal Zero Guide 10
Had a power outage a couple months ago, plugged my ipad into it and charged it, seemed to do ok, didnt charge it 100% but only had it plugged in for 5 hours, think it would take a couple days to chrge 100% from a low charge. If you stack the power packs that goal zero sells you can power the phone or ipad or whatever pretty well, the battery packs are basicly 4AA rechargeable batteries, the pair that i have plus the guide 10 panel charge the ipad up and let me use it just like it was plugged into the wall, secret is to just not let it get too low.

Yes sir, you can hook the battery packs together to get more power, they sell jumpers of sorts for connecting them, i ie it, recharge the batteries for my head lamps with it, can get AAA batteries and an adapter for the module. Real simple and handy

I have a suggestion that some may think is not a serious suggestion. But for what it’s worth; I keep my cell phone turned off. I am sooooo happy we finally got rid of our home phone. I no longer get wrong numbers, sales calls and the inevitable political calls. I turn my cell phone on when my wife and I go to Walmart so she can find me when she is ready to leave. I understand that for those who text (I don’t) or leave messages (I just delete them unheard with great joy), that this sounds like sacrilege. But it is “freedom”. But back to the point. My phone stays charged for months! I never have to worry about charging it, I do charge it from time to time but even then it is about half charged. I have this phone and carry it with me everyday for one reason only; in case of emergency. Not to talk to family and friends, I prefer face to face. My advice is just shut it off.

I need to follow your example,,,
Must be nice,
I made the mistake of getting an Iphone, damn things are addicting.

Funny story: We began this contract with AT&T over 10 years ago. I got a cheapo flip phone. They quit on you for no good reason so I would go to Goodwill and buy a used one for $5. So while my wife and kids upgraded every couple of years I had these ancient flip phones. Well about 8 months ago AT&T sends a letter and says that one of the phones on the contract MUST be replaced or it would stop woring when they instituted a change intheir system. So we go into AT&T and tell them we got the letter and she says “let me see the phone”. I take out the phone and she can’t believe it. She’s 24 or so and swears she has never even seen one that old. Calls all the other wise ass tech people over to laugh about my phone. So I got another flip phone from them that would work with their system.

gonewiththewind..good for you!! I totally cancelled my cell. I do use the camera from time to time.
I am 65.

Been using Anker products for over 2 years now and love them.

Have many of their products from charging wires to battery back up, i also have a blue tooth keyboard for my phone and ipad. They make quality products that are very cheap and have amazing reviews on amazon. I highly recommend any products they make.

I only seem to use my cell phone about once a month if that, so it always seems to be dead when I need to us it. Luckily I was smart enough to buy the charging cord that plugs into the cigarette lighter in the car. So I just plug it in to use it. I never really thought about turning it off, but that would certainly keep it charged.

THANK YOU!!! for this article, comes at the best time for our family as well.

Sure appreciate it! Well done, even for ME to be able to understand it.(Yeah, I am a slow learner the older I get, or so it appears).

Again, thanks! Love this kind of knowledge resource.

If you have a generator or some source of house current you can use a transformer to get to 5V for USB charging. I have a couple that came with Logitech mice.

Wall warts with USB outlets seem to be everywhere these days. Even dumb phones have came with them for a while. I still haven’t figured out why manufacturers haven’t stopped providing them and charging extra for one if you want one. Hard to imagine they haven’t thought of this.


Only problem with all the ways to keep your phone charged… if there is a major pwer outage the cell tower’s will be without power as well…no tower’s no cell service, with or without a charged cell phone.

I just saw on the news today, that cell towers have their very own back up power supplies.

I suggest that you have a way to charge a handheld ham radio and/ or a set of 2 way radios too.Cell phones may not have a signal but hams and 2 ways will work.I believe a ham radio license is part of your preps. I have made a couple of 12 volt charging plugs for my radios and our phones.I can grab power from batteries with a 20′ extension I made.Batteries are in equipment all around us and I want to be able to utilize them easily…

Good suggestions. Thanks!

But after the cell towers go down – then what? Most have diesel generator backup, but in a prolonged crisis diesel availability will be limited. Also remember that a single cell tower does not operate in a vacuum. It requires connectivity to other systems including land lines and the systems of other carriers. These all need power, too.

Has anybody been watching “Fear the Walking Dead?” It’s early in the crisis, but it’s about to get very ugly very fast.

I didn’t like the negative reviews on that charger. Kind of makes me want to buy another brand.

The Anker brand is one of the best and it has the highest number of 5 star reviews I’ve seen, and the least number of poor reviews. Not sure what you are looking at but your comment doesn’t make sense.

sorry to likely repeat, but

someone posted fairly recently about some solar outdoor motion activated lights they purchased, can’t find the post.

can you please give me link to post/comment?
or, can someone please give me the brand of the light?