By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you’re among the hundreds of thousands of people around the Delaware Valley trying to cope without electricity today (see related story), there are some steps you can take to deal with it.

If the heat’s off, try to keep what little warmth you have, advises Chris Bobbitt, a VP at Mark Group,  an energy efficiency consulting firm located at the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.

“Try to minimize introducing outside air into the home, so minimize the trips in and out of the house,” he says.

And Bobbitt says the next step is to let nature do some work for you.

“When the sun eventually does peek back out, you want to keep the blinds open so any heat gain you can get from the sun reflecting off the snow and ice can come into the house,” he says.

And when power is eventually restored, Bobbit says, think about longer-term projects such as improving your home’s insulation and sealing small air leaks in walls, floors, and ceilings.  They can really add up.

If you are at home with no power and need to keep your cell phone charged, using a car adapter while you drive on errands may do the trick.  Otherwise, maybe a coffee shop or other local business that’s not in the dark will let you plug in.   Comcast is providing such a service at all its drop-in centers.

And while you are between charges, you can maximize the length of your cell phone or tablet battery’s charge by dimming the screen, turning off Bluetooth and GPS, and closing all unused apps.

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