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Eskom National Power Blackout – Survival Tips & Tricks

It’s always best to be prepared in case of a total national power blackout which could last for weeks so keep these handy DIY tips in mind. In addition to these you may want to stock up on water because the water being delivered to your home are done so using electronically powered pumps and even the water filtration system runs on electricity. Cash is also good to keep on hand as ATM’s and Card machines will not be available. Cellular telecommunications will also be affected as the backup generators will need re-fueling every few hours and as you can imagine fuel is going to be very scares. Fixed line telecommunications will most certainly also be affected as they too have backup generators which needs re-fueling so our best mode of communication will most likely be by radio. Check out our post titled “What A Total Blackout Could Be Like” for a simulation video by National Geographic.


Here is a quick check list that could prove very useful:

  • Generator – Although investing in a generator for your home is a very good idea keep in mind fuel is going to be very hard to come by so try and store some extra fuel in a safe location out of reach from children.
  • Handheld Dynamo Generator – These are very inexpensive and can easily be used to charge small batteries or even your cell phone. Click here to see some examples.
  • Solar Power – Try and get a solar powered charger or any useful electronics that runs on solar power.
  • Stockpile lots of drinking water – If you are going to use plastic containers keep in mind not to store them for longer than six months and if you do open them use it immediately. If you worried about contaminated water check these water purification tips here.
  • Stockpile lots of non-drinking water – Should the municipals water pumps stop working you going to need water to wash yourself and your clothes as well as water to flush your toilet.
  • Store non-perishable food – These include all canned foods as well as peanut butter, chips, un-opened juice etc, click here for a full list to give you a rough idea.
  • Flash Lights – Preferably the LED kind as they tend to last longer, you can also use your cell phone but this certainly drains the battery a lot faster so i would advise you to invest in an actual flash light.
  • Candles – You need to conserve as much battery power as possible.
  • Batteries – Try to get a good quality brand as you would need them to last as long as possible.
  • Cash – ATM’s and card machines will not be available so keep enough cash locked up in a safe place.
  • Fire Lighters – matches are the cheapest.
  • Wood – Try and get as much as possible as fire can be used to cook and keep you warm.
  • Dry Ice – You can wrap some dry ice in news paper and then place it in your refrigerator to help keep it cool inside.
  • Gas Appliances – Invest in a Gas stove, heater or even water heaters, you would be surprised to know that there are quite a few Gas products out there click here for some examples.
  • First Aid Kit – You should always keep one nearby because accidents do happen so rather be safe than sorry especially when working with Gas and Fire.
  • Medication – Also very important as their is a big possibility that most pharmacies and other stores will be closed for business.
  • Radio – A portable radio is good idea to keep so you can catch up on the latest news (Hopefully broadcasters would have stocked up on enough fuel for their generators) and don’t forget some smart phones have radios built-in.
  • Multi-purpose Tool – This can come in very handy especially to open those canned foods.


The following “Poor Mans” DIY hacks can come in handy if you have limited resources. 


1. Make a miniature stove using a tin can.


2. KP pyramid wood stove

If you need something a little bigger than the miniature stove above then try this one.

Click here for full build instructions.

3. Zeer Pot evaporator cooler

A zeer pot is an evaporative cooler used to keep vegetables fresh, they consist of two terra cotta pots, one nested inside the other, with the gap between them filled with wet sand.

Click here for full build instructions.

4. Emergency Power

For when you absolutely need to you can tap into your fixed phone lines for electricity. Check out our Free Hidden Energy post for more details here. You also might want to invest in a car charger so you can charge some of your electronics via the cigarette lighter socket in your vehicle.

5. Create a makeshift lantern

Fill an empty semi-see-thru plastic juice or milk container with water then put a light source directly against one side.

Original source here.

6. Cheap and Easy DIY Washing Machine

This is a really easy one to do all you need is two buckets and a plunger!


7. Steel wool fire starter

If you run out of matches or lighters you can use a piece of steel wool and a 9 volt battery to make a fire.


8. Cook in foil

You can cook almost anything in foil click here for some awesome recipes.



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