Load shedding is a reality in South Africa and you can never be too prepared for a power outage when it happens. You really never know when you may lose power or what might be the cause, although they are amplified in the winter period more so than during the warmer seasons. Being able to get through an outage, no matter if it’s a few hours or a few days long, will help your family stay calm, stay warm, and stay happy and you knowing what to do until the electricity is restored, is critical in keeping both your home and family safe.


  1. Always have plenty of torches on hand with full batteries in plus extra ones. These should be in an easy to reach location so you can immediately find them in the darkness.
  2. Switch off and unplug all electronics and appliances in your home to prevent damage from electrical surges, like computers and televisions. Consider purchasing a surge protector if you have not invested in one yet.
  3. Choose a visible lamp which you can leave switched on so you can tell right away when the electricity is back on.
  4. Only use generators and gas stoves outdoors and at least 10 metres away from your home. By using these indoors, you can give you and your family deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
  5. Keep refrigerators and freezers properly closed shut. Your food will stay preserved for a while if you avoid opening them. A sealed refrigerator will keep groceries cold for 4-8 hours and a freezer that is 100% full, will keep them cold for up to 48 hours.
  6. In case of a lengthy outage, have a few cooler boxes ready to transfer your perishables when the fridge and freezer lose their cool.
  7. Keep your home warm by placing towels where there is a nasty draft coming through doors or windows.
  8. During the daytime, close blinds and draw curtains to keep the heat in.
  9. Have a list of emergency phone numbers next to the phone and ensure your landline phone has a backup battery in case your cell phone dies. A fully charged portable mobile powerbank will ensure your phone gets a few more hours of battery life too.
  10. At night, choose one room to gather everyone in the house to sleep in, so when the kids wake up in the dark in the middle of the night, they won’t be scared.

Make sure all your emergency supplies are where you can find them in the dark. If it’s dark outside and dark in your home, you may not be able to easily find your solar lights, games, cook stove, etc. Make sure you have everything where it can be easily accessed and found, even in the dark. Get together a box with matches, candles, torches and any other winter items you may need.

You can purchase any solar, energy-efficient or winter essential item from your local Mica Hardware, to help save you from unexpected power outages and keep you and your family warm and safe! YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO PREPARED!