Updated 24 November 2014

How to survive load shedding

Not looking forward to load shedding? Here are a few tips on how to survive a power outage.

With the current bout of load shedding (rolling blackouts) upon us until at least the end of the week, most of us have one burning question: how are we going to light up the darkness if there's no electricity?

Fear not South Africans, here are couple of useful tips on how to survive a power outage.

Your load shedding survival kit

According to environmental activist organisation, GAIA, the following tips are a sure-fire way of making it through a night of darkness:

- Stick the load shedding times on your fridge so that your family will have enough time to prepare for the power outage.

- Use LED globes with a rechargeable battery backup, so when the power outage occurs, all you need to do is connect the rechargeable battery to the LED globe and viola – light!

- A power outage means no TV, computer or any other electronic equipment, so make sure you have things like board games to keep you company for if you get bored.

- Use your gas stove, but please ensure that everything's in place before you light it. Use it to whip up simple meals such as camp-style food or fondues. Or make toasted sandwiches, and if you have an old-school jaffle maker, use it. 

- Fill a thermos flask with boiling water beforehand in case you crave a nice warm cup of tea or coffee during the blackout.

Some Health24 tips

When a power outage occurs, the first non-electric tool that comes to mind is candles. They're cheap and extremely simple to use. However, candles provide only a small amount of light, so if you don't like the idea of candles all over your home, put a few candles (about 5) into a see-through jar which will intensify the light. Or place the candles in front of a mirror to double the illumination.

Here are a few examples of other non-electrical devices:

- Oil lamps

- Torch

- A solar or battery-powered lantern light

- Portable lights (These usually have rechargeable batteries.)

If you crave company, how about inviting some friends over for a nice old-fashioned bonfire, which can also be used for braaing or cooking up wonderful meals like a mouth-watering potjie. You could even use the fire instead of a stove.

If board games aren't your thing, charades, playing cards or even sharing ghost stories might work. You could even pass the time by having long conversations with your friends or engaging in political debates.

If you crave technology, how about using portable devices such as iPods, cell phones, laptops, PSPs, portable radios and TVs or anything else you have handy. Just make sure they're fully charged.

You could even host a "dance in the dark disco" if you have the right equipment, such as cell phones, iPods, mp3 players, laptops, and especially battery-powered speakers.

Remember: Our ancestors survived without electricity for thousands of years, so why can't we do the same? Use this power outage to improve your interpersonal communication skills, help you appreciate modern technology and use electricity wisely.

Read more:


Shedding the load or passing the buck?

(Picture: Bulb in the dark from Shutterstock)


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