Many Northwesterners now include "keeping my phone charged" among the list of emergency preparedness tasks they plan for when the power goes out.
That's the finding in our latest PEMCO Poll. In it, 71% of smartphone owners said they readily have an alternative way of charging their phones in case their homes go dark. Coincidentally, that's the same percentage who say they've tested their flashlights to make sure they work.
Those digital precautions shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who remembers a list from a few years ago, when U.S. News compiled what it called the "10 New American Essentials." It pegged smartphones at No. 3, just behind high-speed internet and the No. 1 essential, a laptop/tablet computer. (After smartphones, it was education, movies, TV, music downloads, pets, alcohol and coffee.)
During this season of windstorms and snowfall, we propose an 11th essential: a basic emergency plan and kit, including a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water.
But then again, with that smartphone, there's always Uber Eats.
Read more about phones and preparedness in the complete PEMCO Northwest Poll, in which Seattle's FBK Research surveyed 1,200 Washington and Oregon residents.