South Africa has come to terms with the fact that load shedding is going nowhere. Even if it doesn’t get worse it will be an intermittent scourge for the foreseeable future.
While many offices had been set up with generators to help the work day continue as different suburbs lose power, the new move to working from home has meant that load shedding is cutting into many people’s work day.
Even if you’re not working, being without power can be frustrating especially at higher stages where the outages last longer.
Technology has really stepped up to help in this arena, there are now loads of gadgets which can help soften the load shedding blow.
Here are our must-haves to avoid the power-outage blues.
This is the holy grail for load shedding. It’s not the major expense and commitment of a generator but it will give you the extra power you need to carry on working through the two and a bit hours your power is out.
If you have fibre internet, you can even keep your connection during this time which is great because the cell phone towers have been a bit spotty lately, making even something as simple as hotspotting from your phone a nightmare.
This definitely is not a solution for a long term power supply but rather a bridge between Eskom turning your power off and back on again.
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Battery powered MiFi
This is another great option if you’re wanting to keep online but don’t want to go as big as investing in a UPS.
A battery-powered mobile WiFi means you can load it up as the power goes out and carry on using the internet, as long as your device has power. It’s portable so you don’t have to be at home to use it and can help avoid having to rely on those pesky cell phone towers.
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If you don’t have a power bank by now I’m not exactly sure what you’ve been doing. While smartphone batteries are improving, often your phone is the only thing left to use during load shedding which results in a fast deteriorating battery.
Investing in a power bank means you’ll never be completely stuck, as long as you remember to charge it. It’s also great to always have on you as it means you’ll never have to ask for a charge behind the bar or in a cafe again.
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Gas stove or cooker
It’s hardly ever the case that the power is off long enough to result in you going hungry but it is infuriating when you’re scheduled for the lunch or dinner slot and you didn’t plan ahead.
Having a small gas cooker on hand is just useful in case you need to warm up or cook something quick and don’t want to wait for the power to come back on.
This is more to make sure you’re not stuck with broken equipment after the power goes and comes back rather than being a solution to carry on working.
To avoid power surges damaging your appliances, buy a surge protector and plug it into your wall socket to minimise the risk because Eskom won’t be paying you back for a fried laptop.