Get All Access for $5/mo

6 Ways to Stay Productive in a Power Outage As Hurricane Sandy barrels into the Eastern Seaboard, don't let a loss of electricity slow down your progress.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As Hurricane Sandy batters the East Coast, some experts are saying that power outages could affect 60 million people, some for a week or more. After years of living and working near the Jersey Shore where hurricanes and nor'easters are an annual occurrence, I've developed a list of tips that help keep productivity humming during power outages.

Power up. Gathering batteries and flashlights and investing in a generator are pre-game activities. Once you're in the thick of the storm, make sure laptops, tablets, smart phones and battery packs are charged in anticipation of the power going out.

Make contact lists. Collect various methods of contact for each person on your team, as well as clients or others you might need. Today, many people have multiple email addresses, mobile phones that can receive texts, a home line, a LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook account. Having these various methods of contact in one place may help you connect more easily.

Maximize battery life. Take your work offline and use the Internet only when necessary. Similarly, turn off global positioning system, navigation, and other power-sucking apps on your phone and tablet to preserve battery life. Next time, consider a backup charging option for after the lights go out, briefcases and bags which can be charged and, in turn, used to charge your phone or other devices. Pricier options include solar-powered chargers from manufacturers like Goal Zero, which can power everything from a tablet or smart phone to a refrigerator.

Related: Business Continuity Planning Template

Use the cloud. File sharing apps like Google Docs, Dropbox, Box and myriad others allow you to upload files to the cloud and access them from anywhere and on any device. That way, if the laptop battery dies, you can log on with your tablet and still get to work. Files can also be shared with others working remotely. It's a good disaster preparedness move, too, in case electronics and files in your place of business are damaged.

Call out. Consider calling options like Skype or Google Voice, which can give you the flexibility to phone from various devices.

Go offsite. Once the storm passes, scope out spots like your local coffee shop, library, or diner running on backup generator power. You'll be able to charge your devices and get out of the house -- and maybe even get a hot cuppa.

Put safety first. OK, I've put this last on this list, but it isn't least. Safety is paramount. It can't be overemphasized. Obey local law enforcement and emergency-management services directives about travel and curfews.

During desperate times, I've been known to use my car as a phone charger, but if you do that, make sure you're in a well-ventilated space before you turn on the ignition and start inhaling emissions. Also, be mindful of the conventional wisdom of using candles for light. Candles cause more than 15,000 home fires per year and can be dangerous if gas leaks are present.

Share your tips for power-free productivity in the Comments section.

Gwen Moran

Writer and Author, Specializing in Business and Finance

GWEN MORAN is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Side Hustle

This 26-Year-Old's Side Hustle That 'Anybody Can Do' Grew to Earn $170,000 a Month. Here's What Happened When I Tested It.

Stephen Alvarez was working at a dental supply company and following his passion for cars on the side — then an Instagram ad changed everything.

Business News

Over 10 Billion Passwords Have Been Exposed in the Largest Password Hack in History

The data is thought to have been collected over the past two decades.

Growing a Business

Discounts and Deals Used to Be Enough to Make Loyal Customers — But Not Anymore. This Is What You Need Now.

Building brand loyalty today requires more than just low prices, discounts, deals and referrals for deeper, lasting relationships with customers.


Take Advantage of the Booming Value Gym Market with a Pure Fitness Franchise!

Pure Fitness gym franchises are rapidly expanding in the low cost and flexible gym membership business that offers a resilient and flexible business model which helps achieve success in any market.

Making a Change

How I Turned My Learning Disabilities Into a Superpower

This article outlines my journey from struggling with multiple learning disabilities to recognizing my unique abilities as a strength. It explains how leveraging my personality, interests, and instincts helped me build self-confidence and achieve success as an entrepreneur and leader.