Though our national power utility last year announced plans to hold off on the implementation of load shedding until middle January after businesses return to normal operations following the holiday break, the risk of national power interruptions continues to exist well into 2019.
“I would advise homeowners to keep a watchful eye on Eskom’s load shedding schedule and follow the power utility’s social media feeds for any announcements so that plans can be made if a blackout has been scheduled for your area,” says Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.
If you happen to spot the announcement in time, here are a few ways RE/MAX of Southern Africa suggests to help you survive the blackout:
Switch appliances off at the wall
To avoid any unfortunate appliance failures, it is advisable to unplug all appliances to protect against any electric surges caused by the power being reactivated. Even if no load shedding is scheduled for your area on a given day, it is advisable to unplug your appliances in case the utility announces one and you are unable to get home in time.
Find emergency keys for electric gates
To avoid being locked out of your own home, make sure to carry the spare manual override keys for your electric gates and garage doors whenever you leave the house. You might also want to purchase a glow-in-the-dark key ring to put on your keys so that you’re able to find them if your power gets cut in the evening.
Candles, torches, books & board games
These are a few of the items you’re going to want to stock up on so that you’re able to endure the time you have to spend in the dark. These days, we all keep a torch in our back pocket in the form of our mobile devices. However, in case your device happens to be running low on battery power, it is advisable to have a torch in an easily accessible part of your home. Outdoor camping stores also offer lights that can either be charged beforehand or run on battery power.
Prepare snacks pre-blackout
If you’re able to get home before the electric cuts out, make a flask of boiling water so that you’re able to enjoy a hot beverage while you wait for the power to return. You should also stock up on snacks or foods that do not require any re-heating or cooking, like sandwiches or salads. If you’ve got any foods that could spoil, you could freeze a few bottles of water and keep these in your fridge or freezer to keep things cool.
Portable gas stoves are also an option but make sure you use it in a safe manner and that it stored away safely when not in use.
Invest in power banks that could keep a cellphone or other small devices such as a WiFi dongle charged for the duration of the power cut.
Setting your morning alarm
If you need to wake up at a specific time, it might be safer to set your alarm on your phone or on a battery-powered clock over this period. If you do have an electric alarm clock, be sure to reset this if you’ve had a power outage during the day.
Download an app to help you stay informed about the different stages and when your area will be affected by downloading an app to your smartphone.
Currently, the two most widely used apps are EskomSePush and Loadshedding Notifier