May 13, 2020
Keep a phone charger and long cable on hand for emergencies
I have a family member who's had more than her share of hospital visits lately, and trying to communicate with her has been a challenge some days.
She's been in hospitals, rehab hospitals and nursing homes, and now she's back in a different hospital.
The places she's been usually have phones in the rooms, but nothing beats the convenience of talking to someone on their cellphone.
The first night she was taken to the hospital, my wife talked to her for several hours while she waited in the emergency room.
When I heard about it, I immediately thought, "Oh, I hope she has her phone charger, because her old cellphone is going to run out soon."
She did have the forethought to bring her phone charger and charging cable with her to the emergency room.
For this I am very proud.
Now that she's been in several different hospital and nursing home rooms over the last few months, I've come to appreciate that not all rooms are built alike, and power outlets may or may not be close by.
Sometimes we'd call and her cell would ring and ring and we'd hang up, only to have her call back and say her phone was across the room on the charger and she couldn't make it over there while the phone was ringing.
So I told her I'd be sending over a few USB chargers and some 10-foot phone charging cables.
These ought to be long enough to reach her bed from the nearest outlet.
There are longer cables available if you need them.
Her illness isn't COVID-related, but the pandemic has many of us thinking through what would happen if we or one of our loved ones had to be hospitalized suddenly.
My advice is to put together a small kit to keep in your home and car with a USB charger and a long charging cable for your phone. Keep it in a small zipper pouch that's easy to grab if you are being taken out in an ambulance or have to leave in a hurry.
In my kit, I have a small USB-C charger from Ravpower and a USB-C cable along with a small USB-C to iPhone adapter in a Maxpedition pouch.
It's also a good idea to write down (on paper) some of your important family member phone numbers. Keep it in your wallet or purse or in this cellphone "go bag."
That way if you show up in an emergency room and the nurses can't open your cellphone, they can find someone to call.
If you have enough room in the bag, you might stash a small external battery charger in there. If you run across someone who could use a charge and there's no outlet around, you'll be glad you brought it along.
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