Like most people in an emergency, refugees made sure they had their smartphones.
While working on our Road Trip 2016 summer series "Life, Disrupted" -- about how technology is (or isn't) helping with the global refugee crisis -- CNET reporters often used Google Translate to interview refugees and migrants they met.
A teenager living in Athens' old airport video-chats with a friend.
Migrants and refugees rely on their phones for things like storing files, messaging, translating and shining flashlights.
Mobile phones have become lifelines to refugees.
A vendor sells SIM cards and phones to people living in a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos.
With help from Greek solar company Entec, students from Edinburgh University designed and built a solar charging station in a Lesvos refugee camp.
Water and a mobile phone: Two essentials for survival as a refugee.
Three men charge their phones in a camp near Thessaloniki, in northern Greece.
Rabee Abo Tarah, who lives in an abandoned hotel in Athens, shows a selfie he took on the notoriously perilous boat trip from Turkey to Greece. The former hotel now houses about 400 refugees.
Strung-together charging strips provide power inside a building at Athens' port Piraeus.
Social and messaging apps, like Facebook and WhatsApp, are essential tools.
Masood Qahar, of Afghanistan, shows his badge from NATO's International Security Assistance Force.
Migrants often carry multiple SIM cards to use across different cell networks.
Music can cross borders, and remind people of home.
What would you grab in an emergency? USB drives store refugees' important documents, as well as family photos and other mementos.
You'll hear many languages and dialects in refugee camps, making mobile translation apps an essential tool.
External battery packs can charge phones when outlets and charging stations aren't available.
Marches and protests, and opportunities for housing in Athens are often organized online and through social media.
Power strips linked together and fed by extension cords, outside a camp on Lesvos.
The Red Cross built a phone charging station for a refugee camp in Greece.
A tangle of power strips.
These men are waiting for their phones to charge.
In Athens' minimal tent encampments, refugees seek out for power for their devices.
Solar lanterns provide the only light to a makeshift camp in Serbia.
Migrants in a Serbian refugee camp huddle around power strips to charge their phones.
A refugee taps into one of dozens of power plugs available to residents of the Grande-Synthe refugee camp near Dunkirk, France. The network connection can be spotty, but free charging makes life easier.
A volunteer-run effort called the Refugee Info Bus provides free Wi-Fi to the Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France. The battered truck also shares information about refugee asylum rights and serves as a stage for musical performances.
There's no electricity in the refugee camp in Calais, France. A makeshift shop lets people charge their phones via a gas-powered generator.
The Freiland youth-culture center in Potsdam, Germany, includes an internet cafe.
Kamil Shamal, a 16-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, holds his basic Samsung phone. He doesn't want his face photographed.
Firas Alshater is a YouTube star in Germany. He uses a Canon Vixia Mini to record videos that use humor to break down social barriers.
Google donated 22 Chromebooks to a refugee shelter in Berlin. Residents use them to learn German, look for jobs and communicate with family and friends back home.
Kids living in a Berlin shelter play Clash of Clans on an Android tablet.
A refugee shows a photo of him, his wife and their child as they sleep, homeless in Hungary. The family fled fundamentalist forces in Iraq.