How Can You Be Sure That Your Batteries Will Work When You Need Them Most?
Believe it or not, batteries have short shelf lives. And, unfortunately, many of the items you might have in your bug-out-bag or emergency kit will utilize batteries. Hopefully your BOB and/or emergency kits also include a large power charger and/spare batteries for your phones as well as charging cables.
But it is a very hard thing to remember to check and replace those batteries or top up the rechargeable ones. Thankfully we live in the age of the internet so lets use that resource to help us make sure we never run out of power when we need it.
You might have heard of a web site called IFTTT. The name is an acronym for “IF THIS THEN THAT”. It allows you to set conditions that will cause other actions to occur. In our case, we are interested in triggering an action every six months – to send a reminder to our cell phone to replace the batteries in our emergency kits.
The beauty of this solution is that it works even when you change cell phones or lose all your cell phone data!
As long as your cell phone number remains the same you will continue to get alerts every six months.
Here is how to use IFTTT.com to keep you on top of your emergency power requirements.
- Create an account on www.IFTTT.com
- Click on the menu option “MY RECIPES” which is usually located at the top of the website after you log in.
- Click on the “IF” tab (see image below for where that is located)
4. Click on the CREATE A RECIPE button
5. You should see a page that looks like the image below. Click on the blue THIS word
6. You should now see a list of “channels”.
7. In the search box at the top of the list of channels, enter “Date” – this should narrow the channels down to 1. Your screen should look similar to below
8. Click on the Date & Time Channel.
9. If you have never used IFTT or if you have never used the Date & Time channel then do the following:
a. You should see another screen with a single button that says Connect. Click on it.
b. A screen will pop up asking you to set your time zone. Select your time zone from the drop down box and then click the blue Connect button.
c. Another screen will appear with just a Done button. Click it.
d. If done properly the popup will close you should be back to the main browser window
10. You should see a screen with a button that says Continue to the next step. Click on it.
11. You are now at the Choose a Trigger screen. Select Every Year On (see image below)
12. You will be asked to select a date. I suggest using June 30th at 12:00 pm (or any other date you want). Once you’ve set your date click the blue button at the bottom .
13. You will now be at a screen where the word THAT is in blue. Click on it (see image below)
14. You should now be in a new screen titled Choose Action Channel. Type the word “SMS” in the search field. You should then see a screen similar to this one:
15. Click on the SMS action channel icon.
16. If you have never used IFTTT follow these steps to connect to the SMS Channel
a. Click on the Connect button which will trigger a popup.
b. Fill in your phone number and then click the Send Pin button. This helps IFTTT confirm that you are indeed the owner of the phone number.
c. Once you get the PIN fill it in the popup window and then click the blue button.
d. Click the Done button. The popup should close and return you to the main screen
17. Click the blue Connect button on the main screen again and then click Continue to the next step. Note that in some cases it might ask you to go through a confirmation process again (basically step 16 above)
18. You are now at the Choose an Action screen. There is only one choice Send me an SMS so click on that.
19. You will be asked for the message to send. Enter something such as “URGENT: Check Batteries In Emergency Kit or Bug-Out-Bag”.
20. Click the Create Action button
21. Enter a Title for the “Recipe” and then click the Create Recipe Button.
22. Go through the steps again to create the 2nd six-month interval reminder.
While you should always be prepared to survive without power, there is no need to do so unless you absolutely have no choice. So use this simple technique to make sure you always have some power options available.