Load shedding is done to protect the national power system from collapsing but do not let this collapse your day to day operations; at home and at your place of business.
1. Get the Schedule
The schedules are made available so that you can know the days and times when you will be affected by load shedding. If you know the day and times you can plan your day accordingly and make sure your day runs smoothly. It is important to stay informed of any changes to the schedule by checking the press, listening to the radio or going to the power supplier’s sight.
2. Prepare Yourself
Put your torches, spare batteries, matches, candles and lanterns in a place that you will find easy to get to when the power goes out. Use the car to charge your devices as much as possible and when the electricity is running make sure all your devices and anything else that runs on battery such as battery operated lanterns and torches are charged. Once charged if you do not have use for anything immediately, keep it off and only use when needed.
Remember to unplug all sensitive electronic equipment like TV, fridge, microwave oven, computer etc. in order to protect them against possible power surges when the power comes back. Also, leave a light switched on somewhere so that you will be alerted when the power returns.
3. Freeze Water
Put water in some plastic bottles of assorted sizes and freeze them. Once the power goes off (especially for a very long period) you can remove one or two and put them in the refrigerator to keep it cool. Put one on the very top shelf (cold air falls) and one at the bottom just to make sure the whole fridge is covered. Leave a few in the freezer to keep your frozen food frozen.
Remember to take out what you need well in advance and keep the doors of the fridge or freezer closed for as long as possible so that it stays cold for as long as possible or for the duration of the black out.
4. Look For Alternatives
If your budget allows get a solar connection for a few rooms in the premises. Buy a gas stove for cooking or heating and if your budget is really large get a generator or an invertor. Think about what you want to run; is it lights and computers, only or also some other device like a hair dryer, power tool or washing machine.
To help you talk to an electrician and get help on the size, type and the cost.
5. Beware of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a toxic, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can come from charcoal, diesel, methane or other carbon based fuels. If you inhale too much of this gas you will get carbon monoxide poisoning and will eventually become dizzy, lightheaded, confused, and nauseous and may have flu like symptoms. A high exposure to this gas can lead to death.
If you use charcoal keep the room well ventilated or use the burner outside. If you own a generator do not run it inside the house but run it out doors in a well ventilated area.
6. REMEMBER TO BLOW OUT ALL THE CANDLES!