Monday, 27 July 2015

In the Dark- The Updated Loadshedding Survival Guide

We have spent the bulk of this weekend in the dark... again... thanks Eskom.

My Saturday night

I previously blogged on how to survive loadshedding here. However, that was when it was summer and loadshedding only occasional, so while a lot of it still applies,  it seems like a more aggressive guide is now needed. This weekend, which happened to be a cold, wet and windy one with temperatures below freezing, our power was off for about ten hours on Saturday and another five on Sunday. 



Side note: For my non South African readers, we have this bizarre system called loadshedding, which basically means that in order to save power (or for a variety of other reasons, some of which are plausible, as speculated by conspiracy theorists), our state owned electricity provider shuts off electricity to large areas, for several hours at a time. There are schedules drawn daily and various apps where you can check when you are due to be loadshedded, in theory anyway (these schedules are often inaccurate and not accessible anyway when all your device batteries are flat).

So here are my updated loadshedding tips: 
PLAN B:

If you have the means, consider getting a generator (you now even get silencers for them). Or even better, move to greener options such as solar power where possible.  Disclaimer: I have not done either, but these are becoming real considerations. 

Alternative to the above, invest in lots of bright, rechargeable LED lights. Find out if gas can be connected to your area and if it is economical to do so. Alternatively, gas canisters with those small cookers that you can attach can be an option.

Consider investing in a power bank so that you can keep crucial devices charged.  

SURGES:

Very important: invest in surge protector plugs for when the power does finally come back as I know of a few people who have suffered loss of appliances after a power surge following loadshedding. Unplug any appliances that are not connected to surge protectors during loadshedding. If you are affected by a power surge (in Johannesburg), you can contact the City Power Legal Department on 011 490 7546 and complete a claim form, after which a technical report will be submitted and a decision made on whether or not to settle the claim. Alternatively, it might be covered by your household insurance, depending on your policy wording.

CANDLES:

 Since loadshedding, we have taken candle light to a whole new level. Candles are calming, relaxing and loadshedding is the perfect time to indulge in their prettiness.

Noodle and I made  some candles out of old broken crayons (see here). They did not turn out as pretty as I had hoped, but they are functional.



In addition, I have been on a hunt for the best smelling candles in Jozi. Here are my finds:



1. Soy Lites: these are not just any candles. Made from soybean wax and essential oils, the candles are actually moisturisers too and can be used on your skin for for manicures, pedicures and massages. I have seen these used at a few exclusive spas. They are pricey but they smell divine. These can be purchased online.
2. Yankee candles: pretty to look at and they smell so good. These come in every scent imaginable. These are available online and at Yankee Candle stores.
3. Mr Price candles: these come in amazing scents. The ones pictured above are mandarin and berry. 
4. Prices candles- vanilla scented: these are available at local supermarkets and are dirt cheap. They are very ordinary to look at but smell like freshly baked yumminess.

(Note: I have no affiliation to any candle manufacturers.)

PATIENCE:

Bucket loads of patience. This is the number one tool for surviving loadshedding.



 What are your best loadshedding survival tips?