Necessities for every home to survive load shedding

Energy saving hacks for power outages. Picture: Burak The Weekender/Pexels

Energy saving hacks for power outages. Picture: Burak The Weekender/Pexels

Published Jun 9, 2023


Keeping the lights on during power outages has become a primary issue as we brace ourselves for the impending reality that load shedding might continue for the next two years.

As the scheduling phases advance because of problems, the rolling blackouts happen more frequently.

If you feel cut off from the outside world during power outages, we have a list of load shedding survival must-haves to keep you connected in the dark.

A candle might be enough, if you think that load shedding is the ideal excuse to spend some time reading a book.

A back-up battery system and a UPS

An inverter transforms direct current (DC) from an alternating current (AC) power source and the other way around. This indicates that the gadget can change household standard electricity into the power used to charge batteries and back again when the batteries need to provide standard electricity.

According to Eskom’s FAQs sheet, a UPS (uninterrupted power supply) is a wonderful solution to guarantee an uninterrupted internet connection and a back-up battery system to power vital devices during load shedding.

Both UPS and inverters have the same function, but a UPS can switch over instantly whereas an inverter may have a delay. While an inverter converts AC power to DC power, a UPS stores electricity. For vital systems, UPS units can offer dependable power back-up.

While a back-up battery system can power a TV, lights, and security system, a UPS can keep your internet and computer running.

A flashlight and a rechargeable light

Rechargeable flashlights and battery-operated torches are practical tools for dealing with power outages and have been a dependable option for getting by in the dark ever before load shedding.

It is advised that you have a flashlight close at hand and you have a few rechargeable lights for use at night, given the erratic nature of the electricity supply.

Burner or stove using gas

Gas stoves are a big game-changer during power shedding and have become the standard in South African homes. Purchasing a gas cooker enables you to cook and boil water even when the power is out.

This comes in handy during power outages, which often coincide with mealtimes. You can cook and boil water during this time and you can also braai.

A power bank

Portable batteries known as power banks are used to recharge electronics. For the times when load shedding takes you off guard or for the times when the outage results in another electrical fault in your region and your power does not come back on for a long time, having one or two fully-charged power banks in the house is vital.

Medical kit

Plasters, gauze, disinfectant, and any medications you may need in an emergency, should be kept nearby.

A fire extinguisher

There is worry that larger fire dangers could result from increasing load shedding. It is wise to keep a fire extinguisher close by.

House fires have increased when there is load shedding. Extinguishers can play a key role in saving lives and preserving property. They can assist in putting out a small fire or keeping one contained until the fire service comes.

A hot water flask/stove-top kettle and a water tank

Given the water shortages, it is now worthwhile to keep a supply of fresh water (at least 10 litres) and a large-capacity hot water flask on hand.

We all need our morning cup of something – stove-top kettles have made a resurgence. When hot water is required for other uses, it is also convenient.

Thermos flasks are helpful for keeping liquids hot for hours when it comes to daily convenience.

A simple toolbox

A screwdriver set, pliers, hammer, and wrench should be kept on hand, as should essentials like extra light bulbs, plugs, and double-sided tape.

Sufficient room for packing

Your home will probably be more organised and require less cleaning if you have more room.

Folder of documents

Keep all critical papers together, including birth, marriage, and academic certificates, as well as documentation for bonds and loans, car information, and insurance policies.

Printed pictures

All memories can be stored using cell technology on your phone or computer, however these can be lost in the event of a power surge. Make it a practice to periodically print a few to store and keep back-ups in storage.

While load shedding continues to cause difficulties, keeping these goods on hand can help to lessen the impact. This would be in addition to the standard goods that every home should keep, such as quality cleaning products and a small amount of non-perishable food supplies.

Many South Africans have taken the initiative to look into alternative sources for back-up electricity at home.

Although the scheduled outages are beyond our control, there are things we can do to keep our lives normal.