The definitive load shedding survival manual

Are you prepared for the coming darkness?

Many South Africans are no strangers to load shedding, but many are still found wanting when Eskom flips the switch. Might be, most of us deep inside still think it won’t happen. The reality is that power cuts are not likely to stop anytime soon.

It’s time to take some initiative, gear up and make the best of the situation. Tap into your inner creative and make sure power outages don’t affect your productivity. We have looked high and low and put together your very own load shedding survival manual.


If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first hour sharpening the axe.

If Abraham Lincoln’s words ring true this manual will help you sharpen your axe, as you contend with load shedding in your area. Here are the things you will need to get started:

  • Use Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) to protect all your electrical equipment, when the power comes back up. This will save you money from replacing damaged appliances.
  • Download one of the many load shedding apps from the app store (Apple) or the play store (Android), to get information on when there will be load shedding in your area.
  • Turn off all electrical appliances.
  • Charge all the gadgets you might need to use (phones, laptops).
  • First aid kit – this is crucial in the event of an emergency.
  • Have enough food to prepare a meal, as many places selling food, will be closed during load shedding.


The basics

Not having the basics like heating, a warm meal, or a light source, are some of the most frustrating things about power cuts. Here are some of the gadgets that are likely to make your load shedding experience a little more comfortable.


A small gas cooker – This will ensure you can enjoy a nice hot meal or a cup of coffee. You can find these at any hardware store in your area. If you don’t like the idea of gas, buy a small braai stand, it uses wood or coal. Light a fire and enjoy a nice wood-cooked meal.

For those that prefer wood or coal, here is a gadget that will transform your experience. The VOTO, from Point Source Power, is a bio-mass fuelled charger which generates electricity from solid fuel (wood or coal).

To use the VOTO, you place the solid oxide fuel cell at the bottom of the braai stand, under the coals. Carbon and hydrogen from the wood or coal is then converted into electricity. It comes with various extensions; you can charge your phone or laptop, while you cook your favourite meal.


AC and solar rechargeable lantern. With average charging time of 3-4 hours, ensure the lantern is well charged beforehand. This will give you about 12 hours of light. This will be very useful if there are kids around or if you need to prepare a meal.


Battery heated electric rechargeable heated blanket- This rechargeable electric blanket will ensure you are warm and snug during load shedding . Ensure you keep the blanket charged, so you are always prepared even for the unexpected blackouts.

Entertainment and productivity

Being so used to constant stimulation, when the lights go out, there seems to be nothing to do. This would be the perfect time for a cup of tea and enjoying a good read. But that’s not for everyone; most enjoy a good movie or TV show.

In other cases you have a lot of work to get through; you have deadlines and really need to get some work done in the evening.

The problem is, nine times out of ten when there is load shedding; the battery on your phone or laptop is low or already dead. That’s where this amazing gadget comes in. Whether it’s for business or pleasure an external battery pack will make sure you are prepared for anything.

An external battery pack will come in handy when your laptop, phone or camera is running out of juice. The Energizer XP18000A will satisfy all your charging needs. This bad boy is carrying enough juice to charge your phone or laptop for a full day’s work. It has the advantage of not only charging via USB, but it also powers devices via a 9-12V or a 16-20V port.

This means it supports more devices than just your phone or camera. This is a must have for entrepreneurs and other busy bodies.

The aftermath

When the power eventually comes back, ensure that you don’t turn on appliances immediately, the power supply might still be unstable. When it comes to load shedding make sure you are well equipped to make those nights as comfortable as possible. In the event something goes wrong it’s always better to have invested in the necessary insurance products.

Whether it’s home insurance or life insurance, with load shedding being as unpredictable as it is, it’s well worth the investment in value added insurance cover.

Feature image: Bob ~ Barely Time via Flickr



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