The festive season has officially begun; however, it looks as though South Africans will be celebrating the holidays without electricity, at certain times of the day and night, as South African power utility Eskom has implemented load shedding.
As load shedding is becoming a regular occurrence in South Africa, IT News Africa has put together a few tips to get you through the load shedding cycles this festive season.
Download a load shedding notification app
With load shedding occurring more often, it is best to keep up to date with Eskom’s load shedding schedules. The best way to do this is with the Load Shedding Notifier app. This app monitors the current Eskom load shedding status and notifies you if the power is scheduled to go off in your area.
Some of the apps key features include:
• Real-time Eskom load shedding status monitoring
• Power grid status monitoring
• Early warning of scheduled load shedding in your areas
• Very low data usage
• Configurable alerts
• Configurable status update frequency
Stay connected with a generator
Most landline and mobile services work when the power is out. These include your telephone services as well as your ADSL line; however, your Wi-Fi router will need power. If you have a generator, you can run an extension lead from your generator to your router in order to supply it with power. This will essentially allow you to power your router as well as connect to the internet. As a second option, you can purchase a personal Wi-Fi router. This will allow you to stay connected while at home or on the move. These come in handy as you can connect multiple devices to them.
Keep your devices charged up during load shedding cycles
As the world of technology is forever evolving, you don’t entirely need a plug point to charge your device. Your laptop has energy stored up just waiting to be distributed to multiple devices. In addition to this, be sure to keep Power Banks on hand. Not only can they store power for an extended period of time, but they can also fully charge a mobile device or tablet.
If you do find yourself without a Power Bank or laptop available… most of the newer cars on the road come standard with USB ports that can be used to charge various different devices.
An Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) can also benefit individuals as well as companies. These devices can keep laptops, smartphones and tablet devices charged for a good couple of hours. They also allow you enough time to back up your work while working on a standard desktop computer.
Download the flashlight app
Mobile phones are powerful tools. Not only can they be used to communicate with your loved ones during power outages, but they can also be used as a flashlight. By downloading a flashlight app you can use your mobile device’s flash as a light. This comes in handy if the power goes out without warning and you cannot find a flashlight or candles.
Protect your devices with a surge protector
During load shedding, or even a traditional power failure, electronic devices can be subjected to power surges. Power surges can occur when power is restored to an area. While the intensity of a power surge may vary, they can be strong enough to cripple devices such as televisions, laptops, DSTV decoders, routers, mobile phones, tablet devices, entertainment systems and gaming consoles. It’s for this reason that a surge protector is a must during load shedding cycles.
Cook with gas
Load shedding can occur at the most inconvenient times and ultimately make those toasters, microwave ovens, and stoves unusable. Utilising gas-powered appliances, such as a gas braai or gas stove, can ultimately save you an expensive trip to the nearest takeaway store.
Rechargeable LED lights are a must
Rechargeable LED lights are an absolute life-saver during load shedding cycles. Not only do they provide bright and powerful lighting, but lighting solutions such as the Magneto LED Lantern offer up to 60 hours of light on a single charge. These lighting solutions also come with USB ports in order to charge your mobile device.
Putting plastic bottles to good use
Instead of throwing out those plastic soft drink bottles, rather put them to good use by filling them with water and freezing them. This will help prevent meat and vegetables from thawing during longer power outages. They can also be stored in the fridge in order to keep fresh fruits, vegetables and other perishables fresh.