Even though Hurricane Irma has reduced to a Category 1 storm, it had knocked out power to more than 5 million homes and businesses in Florida on Sunday, forcing residents who stayed behind to ride out the storm in darkness.

One of the reasons that the eastern and south-eastern counties of Florida started experiencing power outages could be because Florida Power & Light (FPL), the biggest power company in Florida, which caters to more than 3.2 million Floridians, started to face power issues due to the hurricane.

"We are not subject to any special treatment from Hurricane Irma. We just experienced a power outage at our command center. We do have backup generation," FPL spokesman Rob Gould said on Sunday, NDTV reported.

Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties were the worst hit in terms of power outages and Gould said that the power grids damaged due to the storm could take weeks to rebuild completely.

Stu Ostro, a meteorologist at the Weather Channel tweeted that various parts of Florida have been completely plunged in darkness or are experiencing partial power outages.

Cellphones are now an indispensable part of people’s lives and being stuck in a place without power and a dying phone battery is nothing short of a nightmare.

If your phone is running low on charge and your power is not back yet, there are a number of ways that you can recharge it. A power bank is definitely one of the preferred options, but if you don’t own one, you can use your laptop for the time being as a power bank.

If your laptop has some conserved power left in it, you can charge your phone by connecting it to your laptop via a USB cable, according to Quartz. Granted that it would mean exhausting the power of your laptop, but in moments of crisis, it may be a better use of the power.

Another way you can charge your phone is by plugging it in your car through either a cellphone car charger or a USB charger, depending on the kind of charging provisions that exist in your vehicle. However, this also has its downside as it means that you will have to keep the car engine running in order to recharge your phone.

Hurricane Irma A woman uses an iPad to record heavy winds and rain from Hurricane Irma as they hit a hotel in Miami, Florida, Sept. 10, 2017. Photo: Getty Images/ SAUL LOEB

There are also ways in which you can save your phone battery from dying out for as long as possible. First and foremost, turn off the internet and Bluetooth on your phone as they are the primary drainers of battery life. However, do not turn off your network completely as you might miss out on the emergency calls and texts from your near and dear ones or urgent announcements made by the local authorities.

NOTE: Do not put your phone in the “Airplane Mode” if you want to continue receiving calls and texts.

Make sure that you have turned off your app notifications and alerts. While the little pop-ups might not seem like much, they can drain your battery a little by little. Also, the best way to turn off all the apps that might be running in the backdrop without you noticing is to turn off and turn on your phone once. This kills all the actively running apps.

You may also opt to turn down your screen brightness to save your phone charge or operate your phone in the battery-saving mode (that is if your phone has it).

Even though hearing your loved one’s voice at a time of crisis might be reassuring it also drains your phone battery more than just sending text messages. If your phone battery is down to that red line, it is always safer to be content with just sending a text in cases of emergency. In a nutshell, refrain from using your phone for as long as possible, apart from sending absolutely urgent text messages.

And as tempting as it might be, do not take out your phone and start capturing pictures and recording videos of the hurricane as you would end up killing your phone battery in no time.