So you’ve popped the dinner in the oven, you’ve set the table and you’re ready to enjoy a meal with family or friends.
Unfortunately, the lights go out and your plans for a lovely dinner party go out the window as you are left frantically scrambling to put something else together at the last minute.
Load shedding is upon us once again, however, there is no need to have a meltdown every time the lights go out.
Here are some tips to prepare for load shedding:
• Keep checking your load shedding schedule and plan on the assumption that load shedding will take place.
• Think about communication. Ensure that your cellphone, laptop and tablet are always fully charged when power is available.
• Make sure that your vehicle always has petrol because some petrol stations cannot pump fuel during power outages.
• ATMs cannot operate without electricity, so make sure you have enough cash with you.
• Make sure that the backup batteries in your electrically operated gates, garage doors and security systems are in good condition to last through periods of load shedding.
• Keep temporary lighting readily available and make sure you put these items in places where they will be easy to find in the dark.
• Boil water and keep it in thermos flasks for hot drinks for times when the power is scheduled to be switched off.
• Use an insulating cover on teapots and other pots and pans to keep drinks hot, and meals warm.
• Prepare meals beforehand in readiness for periods when there will be power cuts.
• Obtain a small stand-by bottled LP gas heating ring for essential cooking and to boil water for hot beverages.
• Keep adequate stocks of essential foodstuffs.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. A power outage lasting four hours should not cause food spoilage, and a freezer should keep frozen food safe for at least a day. It is a good idea to have alternative snacks available that do not need refrigeration.
• Fill plastic containers with water, leaving some space inside each container for expansion during freezing, in a deep freeze or the freezer compartment of your fridge. This frozen bottled water will help keep food cold during a power outage.
• If circumstances dictate that you cannot be without power even during periods of load shedding, you may want to consider investing in a petrol, diesel or gas-powered generator, or a UPS system designed to power those pieces of equipment and appliances that you consider essential.
* Information obtained from Eskom.