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Malls Keep The Lights (And Phones, Laptops, Tablets) On For Those Without Power

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Alan, a Spring-Ford High School student, doing his homework at the Exton Square Mall. (Credit: Tim Jimenez)

Alan, a Spring-Ford High School student, doing his homework at the Exton Square Mall. (Credit: Tim Jimenez)

Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

EXTON, Pa. (CBS) – In this age of connectivity, many of those without power in our area have had to scramble to charge their phones, tablets and laptops.

When you’re so used to being connected, it can be really jarring when you’re not. “(It’s a) basic necessity these days. You feel disconnected from the world,” says Manish from West Chester. He works in IT, so being plugged in is pretty much his job.

Power’s out at home so, his office the past few days has been the Exton Square Mall. And he’s been lugging around his tools of the trade: “Laptops, cell phones, chargers, a flashlight — just in case.”

We caught up with him, next to his wife, watching their eight-year-old son run around in a kid zone. School’s been out so the mall has become his playground. So it’s dad and husband duties along with work for Manish, but he says there’s no other way.

“The work doesn’t stop, right? And the family’s been with me, tagging along.”

Walking around the mall, we found 17-year-old Alan McGlone, crunching some numbers.

“Yes, I’m doing homework at the moment.”

Statistics homework at the mall, has to be worth extra credit. But Alan, a senior at Spring-Ford High, says he had no other choice. He has a quiz to prepare for and needed to juice up his essentials.

“Laptop, phone, an iPod touch. So yeah, everything’s charging right now.”

He went right after school and worked into the night. Not the most fun mall trip, and even though the power’s out for a while, Alan’s just rolling with the punches.

“No real way to prepare for it. I mean, generator maybe but you got to find some way to get things done.”

For Lauren, a junior at West Chester University, it’s a daughter-mother trip to the mall, but without the shopping. They’ve been in the dark and had to plug in at the Exton Square Mall, which offers charging stations and extended hours. A few days without power and a light bulb goes on about just how connected Lauren is.

“We find ourselves on our phones, on our laptops 24/7. And now to preserve battery, you really have to cut back on that and that really makes me realize how much I use technology throughout the day.”

She’s picking her spots now, less social media, more, I might have to call mom.

“It’s less of a time waster, going on Twitter, Facebook any of that when you’re bored. It’s more of a necessity thing now.”

And she’s hoping mother nature gives it a rest, so she can actually learn something this semester.

“We start something then we miss three days of classes.”

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