01 July 2021

    Celeste Jacobs

    Load shedding proof your life

    Try these five tips to keep going even when the power cuts.

    We all know the doom-and-gloom feeling that settles in our homes once the power goes out. Load shedding might have stopped for the time being, but just in case it rears its head again we’ve put together a toolkit to help you ride out the storm.

    Stay charged up

    If you can make use of rechargeable lights, go for it! They’re safer than using candles and help to avoid the risk of accidental fires. Just be sure to keep them charged. Alternatively, candles add a beautiful ambient light to a space and get the job done too, as long as we use them safely without leaving them unattended or in a draft, everything should turn out just fine.

    While you’re at it, be sure to charge your power bank. There’s something particularly tragic about plugging in a cellphone that’s about to call it a day for a charge and realising your power bank is already on a proverbial vacation.

    Claim your power

    If you’re still working from home and don’t make use of a generator or stay in a space where that’s provided, consider getting an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). This nifty little gadget steps in to save the day by acting as a battery and providing power in the event of a power outage. It’s particularly useful to ensure that your machine shuts down properly and, at the very least, gives you a gap to hit ‘save’.

    Fan the flames

    Friends and family often share stories about the lights going out as soon as it’s time to make dinner – don’t let that stop you from enjoying a nutritious meal with your loved ones. If your stove or oven are gas powered, you’re likely to be unfamiliar with this reality! For anyone else, getting a gas cooker (the kind that is used to prepare meals outdoors) is a quick-win alternative. If we’re really going to go back to our roots on this – not that we need an excuse – light a fire and enjoy a spontaneous braai! You might not have the trimmings you usually do, but there’s always something special about watching the flames burn and turn to coals while staying present in the moment (so you don’t char your food!).

    Call on your friends

    This can take the form of working from a local coffee shop or internet cafe. Alternatively, if you’re in a COVID-19 bubble (a safety pod where everyone agrees to adopt a certain set of responsible behaviours in order to keep seeing each other), drop a member of your pack who lives in a different load shedding zone a line and ask if you can work from there until your power comes back.

    Switch to analog

    If your kindle or e-book reading device is flat and your powerbank is too – reach for a book or a pen and paper. You’d be surprised how much joy can be found in getting lost in a story (or creating your own) by candlelight.

    Alternative energy sources

    With the recent disruptive loadshedding South Africans have experienced and the threat of climate change, it’s a good idea to start looking at alternative energy sources. Find out more here:

    Celeste Jacobs