Ten tips to surviving load shedding
There’s nothing quite like load shedding to slow down productivity. Adding a romantic twist to Eskom’s recent outages by lighting candles is a short-lived novelty, even over Valentine’s Day.
Losing out on your Netflix addiction is one thing, but what about small businesses who are being crippled by power outages.
With so much uncertainly around Eskom, the best we can do is make sure we are prepared whichever way it goes. So, today we share our ten tips to surviving load shedding.
- Know your schedule
While Eskom’s load shedding schedule is fairly unpredictable, there are a few free apps available that keep track of load shedding times throughout the various stages, in the different zones. Knowing when your zone will be affected by load shedding will allow you to take the necessary precautions to prepare for the lack of electricity. EskomSePush is one of the more popular apps.
- Invest in alternate power sources
If your budget allows, investing in a generator or even solar energy is a great way to beat Eskom. If you decide to buy a portable generator, make sure that you learn to safely operate it and test it before it needs to be used. Builders Warehouse is a good place to find a variety of generators (make sure you check what sort of power voltage you need). They may be expensive, but if you are running a business you need to consider the loss of revenue against such an investment.
- Alternate light sources
If a generator or solar power is out of your budget, there are other solutions to keep out of the dark. Battery-operated LED lights and torches are just two examples of affordable light sources to help continue routine in the dark. This can be especially helpful for businesses that need to sort through stock in a poorly lit area. A quick search online will bring up plenty of options.
- Take advantage of self storage
Using a self storage unit as an operational base for running a business is becoming an increasingly popular option for many start-up entrepreneurs and SME business owners. At Stor-Age, we are not only conveniently located, but are backed up by generators meaning that there is no down time during a power failure. Your stock will be constantly monitored, secure and accessible regardless of load shedding so that your business can continue operating unaffected. Please take note, there are some items that are prohibited from self storage units. Our customers can also use our business centres in selected stores to access internet, a computer and printing facilities at no extra cost. Take that Eskom.
- Back up your data
People usually only lose their computer data once, because the gut-wrenching feeling that is experienced once you realise there is no backup is hard to forget. We would recommend a good cloud option that saves work as you go – no-one likes to lose five hours of work because they didn’t save before load shedding hit. Cloud servers are inexpensive and remove the risk of working off of a hardware server.
- Set up a UPS
Setting up your internet router and wireless access points to an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) is an easy way to ensure that your access to WIFI is not affected by a power outage. With a UPS, your wireless network remains online so that you can continue sending emails. There are many service providers that can talk you through this and arrange the setup.
- Be vigilant
Be aware that criminals take advantage during load shedding schedules when security features such as alarm systems and electric gates are not functioning properly. It is important to be extra vigilant of opportunistic criminals during load shedding – consider purchasing a battery-powered mobile panic button. Our self storage facilities are backed up by generators meaning that your goods are still protected by our security systems during load shedding.
- Prepare your everyday items
Beat the load shedding blues by preparing your everyday items. For example, fill a flask with hot water so you can satisfy your caffeine craving and charge your mobile devices and laptops so that your workflow is uninterrupted. Use the load shedding time to clear out your inbox (if you have charged your laptop!) or use a good old fashioned pen to make some notes and plan your business days ahead. A little bit of preparation goes a long way!
- Prepare for frozen items
Does your business have a freezer full of stock? It’s important to always leave your freezer and refrigerator door closed to keep the cold air inside. As a guideline, a freezer can keep food preserved for up to two days, and a refrigerator for up to 6 hours. Keeping the doors closed will prevent items from spoiling faster.
- Avoid the traffic
Traffic during load shedding can be somewhat exasperating. When the traffic lights go out, chaos soon follows. Staying at the office an extra hour and monitoring Google Maps for alternate routes is one way to avoid congestion. If you do have to sit in the traffic, try listening to soothing music, making the most of the time by playing podcasts and taking deep breaths. With so many businesses adopting flexitime, consider working from home or in other areas not experiencing load shedding.
These are just a few simple but effective ways to survive Eskom’s load shedding schedule.