Regardless of the time that your zone is affected, Eskom’s load shedding is always inconvenient. With Stage 4 being a regular occurrence, we thought we’d share some tips on how to make light of a dark situation – literally.
Stay up to date
Firstly, it is important to be aware of what stage of load shedding the country is in, and when load shedding will affect your zone during this stage. There are useful mobile apps, such as Eskomsepush, that sends push notifications and updates no load shedding so that you are not left in the dark. Eskom has also kindly broken down the various zones, schedules and stage information on the Eskom website.
Make sure that you stay ahead of the schedule and charge all of your appliances when you do have power. Boil water and keep it in a flask, prepare candles and torches, and finish cooking your meals before the power is cut. These small preparations will make your life a lot easier.
If you are running a business, being aware of the schedule can prevent a lot of headache when the power goes out and your hard work disappears because you forgot to press ‘save’.
Plan your movements
There are certain activities that can not be performed without electricity. Obvious electricity-based activities include the likes of watching television and cooking. But did you know that petrol stations can not pump fuel without electricity? In addition, ATMs can not give out money without power. Be aware of the unusual activities that require electricity to prevent being caught unprepared – or stuck on the highway without fuel!
Although it is not a comfortable thought, considering your home’s safety is a very important step in preparing for load shedding. When there is no power, certain areas become easy targets for opportunistic crime. Be sure that you stock up on batteries for your alarm, security systems and electric gates. If you do not already have one, consider creating a WhatsApp group with your neighbours in case anyone needs help in the dark. Remain vigilant at all times.
Protect your appliances
With the power constantly going on and off, it is important to protect your appliances from power surges. Eskom advises South Africans to switch off appliances when the power goes out, leaving a single light on so that you know when the power returns. Another option is to install surge protection to minimise potential damage.
Invest in back-up and alternative power
While Eskom advises that load shedding should only last a couple of weeks, it is always better to prepare for the worst. After all, this is not the first time that we have experienced load shedding and it is most certainly not the last. With this in mind, and if your budget allows, invest in alternate power and heating sources. For example, a simple gas stove can make a huge difference in the convenience of cooking. Stock up on torches, solar lights, candles and gas to make your time in the dark a little easier. If you can afford one, a generator can keep routine flowing a lot smoother and reduce disruptions. This is especially handy in a working environment.
These are just a few tips to help you prepare for the inevitable and alleviate some of the stress associated with the darkness.
The meme’s have been circulating about Eskom’s load shedding timetable. We thought we’d share a few of our favourite giggles with you.