Can anyone remember what life was like without electricity?
During load shedding we are constantly reminded just how dependent we are on electricity as we go to make a cup of tea, turn on the TV, flick a light switch or Google something, only to find that nothing is working. How many of you have recently found yourselves sitting in the dark wondering what to do with yourself or how to keep your kids entertained?
One saving grace when the lights do go out is that our cell phones still work, allowing us to stay connected to the world. Many of us have smartphones now and these are often our primary source of connecting and communicating by texting, chatting on Whatsapp’s, emailing, posting on Facebook and tweeting. But what if we got a little more creative and prepared for load shedding with our ‘smart’ phones?
Here are a few creative ways we can use our phones to make load shedding less painful:
1: Don’t let the lack of power slow you down.
Invest in a way to charge your phone during the power outage. This can be as simple as getting a car charger or a portable charger. Remember that some phones require a lot more power than others, so check your phone’s requirements first, and invest in a good portable charger that will last.
2: Be prepared.
Download an app to alert you when the next power outage in your area is expected. This way you can make sure that you are prepared. There are quite a few apps to choose from, ‘Load shedding Notifier’ by Abisoft and ‘Gridwatch’ by News24 are both good options.
3: Stay connected.
Remember during load shedding you will need to make use of mobile data as well! This is where a mobile data product from RSAWEB could come in handy… Read our previous blog post about how RSAWEB’s mobile products can keep you, your family and your business connected to the outside world with during load shedding.
4: Shed some light on the situation.
Have a few torches around the house and consider investing in a larger rechargeable light source. We would also recommend downloading a torch app on your phone if it has not come as standard.
My favourite torch apps is: ‘Flashlight, super bright LED Torch’ as it uses your camera flash and is very bright. There are many options available so you need to choose one that works on your smartphone. Gridwatch also has a built in torch, as do many of the load shedding apps.
5: Time for some games.
Most load shedding outages last two hours or more. My top tip for passing the time is to download a few games onto your phone to play with the whole family. My family’s favourite game or activity apps include: Skyview – the perfect time to look at the stars is when all the lights out! Trivia Crack is a fun multiplayer game where you play against each other and each person plays with their own phone.
6: Listen to music or an audiobook.
Download some of your favorite songs from iTunes or save some music onto your phone. I also enjoy finding audiobooks and podcasts for the whole family to listen to.
Hopefully this article will make sure you are more prepared for future load shedding and that you now have a few ideas about how to make it a fun time to enjoy with your family. Do any of you have any favourite apps or top tips on ways to survive the ‘dark times’?
Here is another article we wrote on how to cope with load shedding: