How to Cope with Power Cuts at Home
Now that power cuts and loadshedding are almost a part of daily life, we’re all trying to find the best way to cope. It is probably a good idea to learn a few breathing exercises to use when the power is cut – even when it is scheduled. While having a braai with friends or a romantic candlelight dinner is an option for the odd power outage, it is coping on a normal work or school day that is at the top of everyone’s lists. There are some relatively easy steps that you can take without feeling as if you’re preparing for doomsday or a zombie apocalypse.
The sun always shines on… solar panels
If your budget allows you, invest in solar heating, gas appliances or a generator for your home. You must keep in mind that you will be required to use qualified technicians to install these options. Another option is a battery or solar charger for your cellphone and/or laptop.
Watch your batteries
Make sure that your cellphone, laptop or other electronics are always fully or almost fully charged. Carry an extra charger for your cellphone with you if you can. This is especially important when you need your laptop or phone for work. Be sure to unplug all your appliances and electronics when there is a power outage or loadshedding.
Turn a light on
The local camping store is a great place to look for different lighting solutions to suit different budgets. While candles are most probably one of the cheapest ways to light your home during a power outage, you can also use lanterns, solar lights, rechargeable LED lights and torches.
If you do use candles, be sure to keep them away from flammable materials, children, and pets. Don’t leave candles burning unattended. For more illumination, you can put candles in front of a mirror. If work or homework needs to be done, be careful not to get wax on the books – or set them on fire!
Think of Food
Unless you have a gas fridge, generator or solar power, you must keep food storage during a power outage in mind. Food will still be safe to eat if the power was only cut for a few hours, but you should keep your fridge and freezer closed as much as possible. Don’t keep a lot of meat in your fridge, as it can be extremely dangerous to eat meat that wasn’t stored correctly. Do not refreeze meat after it has defrosted. You should also try to keep food in the house that needs no or very little cooking to prepare. You can also keep long life milk in the cupboard to ensure that you have some fresh milk available.
Take a breather
Take the time to dig into your list of “to-read” books, or go and get some books at the local library. If you have speakers that work with batteries, you can also listen to audiobooks or music. You can always get out some boardgames (or invest in some), or get crafting with some hobbies you don’t need electricity for. Or you can simply take the time to chat and catch up with everyone. And, if you need to, you can do some more breathing exercises.
Author: Carin Marais
Carin Marais writes web articles, guest and blog posts, and fiction. With interests ranging from pop culture and technology to literature, mythology and archaeology, her writing covers diverse subjects. To contact Carin for articles and guest posts, or to read her work, go to her home page, her blog Hersenskim or follow her on @CarinMarais.