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There’s a lot to be said for working from home, if you’re able to. No time wasted commuting, fewer distractions from colleagues (in theory, at least), and easy access to home comforts (from pets to the refrigerator to your record player).

It does mean, however, that more of the onus is on you to get the right equipment in place to stay productive. Your company might help out with this, but if you’re freelancing, then you’re likely to be solely responsible. We’ve written before about all the gear you need for a successful home office setup, and it’s a lot.

Something else to consider is the possibility of a power outage. If you’ve got deadlines stacked up and tasks to complete, then you don’t want a blackout to put you out of action. It means letting down colleagues and clients while you wait for the power to come back on.

There are ways to guard against this, and here are some precautions to take in advance. It may require spending some money, but if you find yourself without power for a day or two, you’ll be glad that you were prepared.

Stay Portable


A MacBook Air will last you at least a day between charges.Apple via David Nield

Having a laptop at hand (and fully charged) is clearly going to be of more use in a power cut than a desktop computer. The 15-inch MacBook Air, for example, can go a full working day and beyond, assuming its battery is at 100 percent when you lose power.

And there are ways to eke out more life from a laptop battery too. On macOS, you can head to Battery from System Settings to enable a special low-power mode that reduces strain on the battery. On Windows, choose Power & battery from Settings to find a similar battery saver feature. Turning down the display brightness can help too.

Depending on your circumstances and budget, you might want to add a tablet to the mix too. Slates including the iPad, the Amazon Fire, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S series can all be repurposed as makeshift laptops with the addition of a keyboard cover, so they’re a useful backup to have if your main computer is out of action.

Portable Power

Person sitting on a couch while charging a Macbook with the Jackery battery

The biggest power stations can keep you going for hours.Jackery via David Nield

Buy a power bank and you can keep laptops, tablets, and phones going for even longer in a blackout, because you’ll be able to recharge them too. There are plenty of smaller devices in this category, like the $24 Anker PowerCore 10000, which has enough juice to recharge your phone three or four times, but for a laptop you’ll need something bigger.