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Protecting Your Gizmos From The Cold

(CBS) - Much of the country's been in a deep freeze for the last few weeks. And that can put your electronic devices in jeopardy since, odds are, you don't leave home without your mini-computers, such as iPods and smart phones.

What can you do to keep them out of harm's way? Try some of these helpful tips.

Cold temperatures can run down batteries

If you are traveling, make sure you bring a car charger in case you get stranded. AAA says 1.4 million drivers will be stranded between Christmas and New Year's.

Also consider carrying a spare battery with you.

Best way to handle phones in cold weather

The screen can actually become brittle in cold temperatures and shatter so:

Avoid leaving it in an outside pocket or backpack, or in the car overnight.

The best place to carry your phone is an inside pocket where it will be nice and warm.

Consider getting special gloves for your smart phone

You can't dial or use the touch screen with regular gloves, but there are several special ones for this purpose on the market:

Isotoner makes smart touch gloves that enable you to keep the gloves on and still use a phone.

There are also Telefingers made for smart phones

You can always get gloves that flip open to expose your fingertips.


Their batteries work best at room temperature -- Apple says they're made to function well between 32 and 95 degrees.

If you leave your iPod in the cold, Apple recommends you let it warm up before you wake it up.

E-readers like the Nook?

Avoid extreme cold. You don't want to leave it outside in the car in extremely cold temperatures.

If it's been outside in the cold, let it warm up before turning it on, to prevent condensation.

And never use it outside in precipitation or with wet hands or fingers.

Even devices that are inside need to be protected from the cold

Use surge protectors: Power outages from storms are common in winter, so you need to protect your electronics from power surges when electricity is restored. You don't want to ruin that new plasma TV you got for the holidays!

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