1. Always have a back-up portable battery source. If you’re inside and the power goes out, so will your wall charger. The car charger will only work with the car running. Portable power is a must.
2. Never leave your phone in a cold car. Take it with you and keep it close by. If you’re outside and fall on the ice, for example, you want that phone in your pocket so it’s easy to reach.
3. Make sure your emergency contacts are updated. List an important relative, business contact or colleague under “ICE,” which means In Case of Emergency. That will make it easier for someone else to reach an important contact if you’re incapacitated.
4. Keep your wireless phone protected. Many ruggedized cases are available now for all kinds of devices, including those that are waterproof.
5. If you’re driving, please keep both hands on the wheel and use BlueTooth devices for calls. There are a number of universal dash mounts that fit everywhere as well as portable speakers for in-car calls.
6. Consider insurance, especially if you have multiple devices on your plan. One broken phone in a family may be OK in the short term, but if everyone has a non-working phone – you’ll need that back-up protection.
Mark can showcase devices that range in price from $29.99 to $99.99:
The Samsung Galaxy Portable Battery Pack packs a punch of energy with 9000 mAh. This extended battery pack is compatible with nearly all smartphones and tablets (and also some cameras) and fits easily into a backpack. Charging status is easy to read on a dark wintry night with four color-coded LEDs.
Simply placing your compatible phone on a wireless charging pad like the Nokia Fatboy Charging Pillow gives your phone a “power nap.” The TYLT VU Wireless Charging Pad charges your phone while also propping it upon an angle so you can continue to use it and watch videos while it charges.
The LifeProof waterproof cases for iPhones offers protection against water, dirt, snow and shock. You can still reach all the buttons and controls on your phone even when it’s in the protective case. The OtterBox is another great solution to protect Android devices and iPhones from scratches and bumps.
The Eco MiniUSB Travel Charger has a 9-foot detachable cable, small and easy to use while on travel or stuck in airports.
In the car, you can rely on the Motorola Droid Roadster 2, a portable Bluetooth speaker. Clip it to your visor and make important calls using voice commands. Features include caller ID, battery life, conference call ability and call status.
You might also rethink the phone at home by considering Home Phone Connect, a reliable, portable, low-cost alternative from Verizon. The analog telephone adapter connects to Verizon Wireless’ CDMA network (and you can keep your current home phone number). The device also has a back-up battery.
Copyright 2015 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.