This week, much of the country is locked into a deep freeze. You may have a few questions about your battery-powered gizmos. Baby, when it's cold outside, you can actually hear that your car battery has lost some of its oomph and the motor is harder to crank. Unfortunately, you can't hear the whining of your cell phone or laptop.
Do you need to protect your tech gear when it's cold outside? You bet. Can you leave your computer in the trunk at zero degrees and then crank it up immediately to send that 8AM report? These are good questions to ask, especially before you need to call your boss to say you are iced in at home.
Definitely, do not leave battery-powered equipment in a frigid car! Turn off both your phone and computer when they are exposed to cold. Protect your phone when you are outside by keeping it near your body, inside your coat and away from moisture. If you have to walk along Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago when the wind chill is minus 40, don't use your laptop or cell phone until they have had a chance to warm up!
Also, remember that when batteries are cold, they lose their power faster than usual and sometimes, the indicators are erratic. Don't worry. The batteries return to their normal function once they return to room temperature!
Good luck and keep warm.