South Africans have been up in arms since load-shedding was re-introduced in November 2019. Besides the inconvenience of not having electricity for everyday tasks like charging phones and laptops, cooking on the stove and even switching on a light; there are many other dangers that come with being left in the dark.
One danger is an increase in crime, as criminals have more opportunities to wreak havoc. When there is no electricity, it means that neighbourhoods are left dark, which makes it easy for crimes to go undetected. Alarm systems also trip when the electricity is cut off and can cause a distraction. Some alarm systems depend on electricity and may deactivate in a power outage.
If you have an alarm system that needs electricity to work, consider investing in a low-cost generator. A home with a deactivated alarm system is left vulnerable to intruders.
An alternative would be to use systems that make use of batteries.
Many people have complained that cellphone service dwindles during load-shedding. Wi-Fi networks, data and airtime become limited, most likely because the service towers need electricity to operate and transmit. Having a home phone as a back-up is important.
It may seem outdated, but a home phone does not work with electricity and will be great in an emergency, especially if you need to call someone for help.
It is also good practice to write down everyone’s phone number, in case your phone dies.
Charge electronic devices
Always keep cellphones, laptops and tablets fully charged in case of an unscheduled blackout, an article in Business Insider suggests.
Take note of the time that your zone is scheduled to go off and plan accordingly. A car charger is a great investment, so that you can charge your devices on your way home, in case the electricity will be out by the time you get home.
Try to schedule your day around load-shedding, so that it doesn’t seem as daunting.