“Hello darkness my Old friend” once again South Africans have become victims to load shedding. According to Eskom the reasons are breakdowns at power stations and the supply of coal. Reading the news you can get varied opinions on this, but no one is telling the public how to proactively look after their appliances and protect their electrical belongings. We do not know how long the load shedding in South Africa will last, so now is the time to get into good habits to prevent damage to your goods. Maybe it’s time to find alternative sources of power like solar.

Load shedding and power outages can damage your appliances
When the power comes back on in your area, it may do so with a transitory surge. There are a few things you can do to prevent damage. (A power surge is an abnormally high voltage lasting for a split second in time.)

  • Turn off all the electrical appliances that you were using at the plug.
  • Remove the plug from the wall socket for all your electronically controlled appliances such as internet connections, cell phone chargers, computers, television sets, VCRs and DVDs.
  • Make sure that you have left one light switch on so that you can see when the electricity comes back on. Try and turn all the other light switches off. When the electricity comes back on it may not be beneficial to wake up in the middle of the night with lights glaring.

If Eskom keeps to the correct timetable it will give us time to make preparations so the outages will not affect us too much.

  • Make sure that your cell phone / laptop / tablet is always fully charged.
  • Many petrol stations cannot pump fuel during power outages, so make sure you have enough to get you through load shedding times.
  • If you are a cash user, make sure you have enough, ATM’s are operated with electricity and many of them do not have a generator.
  • It is a good time to check all your back up batteries, for garage doors, alarm systems and gates. If you are not in the midst of a load shed, turn your own electricity off and check.
  • Keep your temporary lighting in an easy and accessible place that you will be able to find in the dark.
  • Get those camping flasks out and boil your water ahead of time, that cup of tea will be well deserved in the darkness.
  • Consider preparing meals ahead of time, meals that are enjoyable cold. Also keep food stuffs that you do not need to cook and healthy snacks that do not need refrigeration.
  • Keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed as the will remain cold, your freezer will remain cold for at least 24 hours
  • Consider purchasing a generator or an invertor, at lease keeping you with some form of power.

South African households will continue to face electricity-supply challenges in the foreseeable future. Load-shedding is not a choice; it is not a strategy; it is an emergency that the policy makers should make every attempt to correct.