As South Africa teeters precariously on the brink of total blackout, it’s time to prepare for what’s now almost inevitable – missing the next episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. And, you know, the collapse of society, the economy, Mr Delivery, and whatever. Are you ready? Based on my extensive training in multiple ultra-realistic apocalypse scenarios including Fallout (nuclear), DayZ (zombies) and The Sims (divine retribution for humanity’s sins), I’ve compiled this convenient survival guide adapted for the comparatively insignificant prospect of no power on Friday night.
Decide who’s going to eat who
I mean, it’s kind of awkward but you might as well get this sorted out first.
Buy a UPS
This is a mandatory must-have, because if you’ve got a UPS, you’ve got internet, and what else do you even need, anyway? Until the internet is out too, I mean, but that’s like an extinction-level event and we’ve got other, more immediate things to worry about. A UPS is typically rated according to its volt-amps (VA), a number calculated by some esoteric electrical equations that are mostly irrelevant for the average consumer – it’s more important to count the unit’s battery capacity and the total watts of what you’re plugging into it. To work out your UPS battery time, multiple its capacity in amp hours (Ah) by 10, and divide that number by the required watt load.
A UPS with two 7Ah batteries, for example, can support a 30 watt load for approximately 4.5 hours. Devices like a router, DSL modem, or fibre ONT use about 5 watts per hour each, but a 55″ LED TV uses up to or even over 100 watts per hour on its own. If Karen wants the TV on, consider revising the who-eats-who schedule and move her name to the top.
Also buy a portable power bank
These things are cheap and super useful for USB devices like your phone, Nintendo Switch, and Kindle. Or, I dunno… this head massager.
Get a gas camping stove
So what if it’s the end of everything? Enjoy it with a nice cup of coffee and some toast, or perhaps a medium-rare ribeye steak in rosemary browned butter with a red wine and jus reduction. And if you’ve got a UPS and internet, don’t forget to post photos it on social media with a #smug hashtag, because it’s not like anybody can tell it’s human meat.
Make sure your house alarm has a backup battery
Don’t be that guy whose alarm trips as soon the the power’s out, because if humanity’s abrupt plunge into madness doesn’t kill you, your neighbours will.
Stock up on booze
Besides providing some existential comfort, it’s also a valuable trading commodity in the wasteland. Maybe keep the bottle caps too, just in case.