Loadshedding. Need we say more? Just the word is probably enough to push your blood pressure up and turn your hair grey. It is the reality we are forced to live with, in our beautiful country, and since it always seems to rear its ugly stress during the worst of times, like right as your much-needed getaway begins, knowing how to prepare for a blackout is of utmost importance.
Loadshedding could have the power (pardon the pun) to destroy your holiday if you let it, but instead of being disheartened by it, you can pull on the strength of your South African spirit and decide to make sure that you are fully prepared no matter when it kicks in.
Preparing for holiday loadshedding
- Find the schedule for your area. Loadshedding schedules might read like hieroglyphics but we should all be pros of making sense of them by now. The best way to see what the schedule will be like at your holiday destination is to call the guesthouse or lodge ahead of time and ask them for the most up to date version. This will help you greatly as you won’t quite literally be left in the dark.
- Bring your batteries, your lights, your whole power generation unit. So the last on the list is an exaggeration, but the rest is not. Batteries for torches and solar lights if you have them is a must, and they will definitely help you to not feel so hopeless when a loadshedding stage kicks in. Not all Nelspruit guesthouses have the funds to put in a backup system so having some of you own lighting is always a good idea, just in case.
- Prepare some activities. Generally, the power can be out for 2 or 4 hours at a time and when this happens, it helps to have something to keep you entertained. Luckily most of the major shopping centres have power backups but should loadshedding kick in when you can’t go shopping, it helps to have some board games, a good book or just good company to keep your spirits up.
- Fill up your petrol tank. One horrible consequence of any blackout is the knock on effects, one of which is that petrol stations can’t pump petrol. When this happens, you could be left without fuel, but only if you have failed to prepare. So make sure your tank is always topped up.
- Kind of know where you are going. Trying to navigate strange roads in the dark is stressful and it can also be dangerous in our beloved country. With a Sat Nav system or a good old fashioned map, you can figure out your route and get to where you need to be without too much of a hassle.
- Keep everything charged. In those blissful moments when there is stable power, you need to make sure that you do everything you can to makes sure that your phones and laptops, and anything else that needs charging is charged.
Loadshedding shows no signs of improving or being fixed, so adapting to the situation, especially when travelling, is your best option.