Published:  2015-02-25 Views:  1266
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Suggestion/Aanbeveling
HIF Meeting 18 Feb - Contingency Planning Presentation

The subject: "Planning for Emergencies" is one of my pet passions. Although this article focuses on emergencies due to power outages, the approach should be extended to any other type of emergency scenario.



In the light of the crisis at Eskom and the increasing levels of power outages experienced, some has voiced concern for the possibility of a national power outage. Although there is always the possibility, the chances of such an event happening is reckoned to be extremely slim. The main reason for saying this is that Eskom is geared up for load shedding and the plans and contracts are in place. As long as the reaction of the operators at National Control stays swift, all that we will most likely see is an increased incidence of outages. The outage time periods may also become more prolonged if the growth in grid generation capacity is outstripped by economic growth.

Whereas some communities will experience longer periods - even days - of power outages due to local municipal system failures, the chance of this happening on a national level is low.

Solar and wind generation will not help much during peak periods. It is known that new renewable energy plants add something like 20% only of their newly installed capacity to the national network base capacity offering. This is due to the peak delivery times of such plants not coinciding with the system peak demand periods. 



An electricity fail scenario is one of the scenarios a family or community should plan for. Various degrees of seriousness of the emergency need to be considered. The following presentation was made at the Hartbeespoort Inhabitants Forum meeting of 18 February 2015. The subject is very important, namely:  Planning for an emergency event on a personal family level, as well as on a community level.

To give you an idea:

If the power is out for more than 2 hours, the system restore time becomes extended, due to all geysers in residential areas starting up cold at once, causing a much higher peak than is usually experienced. This is why Eskom limits their power outages to 2 hours.  

If the power is off for more than 2 days - the cell phone tower back-up systems will fail, rendering a blow to communications.



The following approach to Emergnecy Planning was proposed at the HIF meeting:


•Fokus eers op kragonderbrekings
•First focus on power failures
•Deel wenke uit vir gesinsvoorbereiding
•Distribute tips for family preparedness
•Aanvanklike dokument vir ’n parate gemeenskap
•Initial document for community preparedness
•Stig ’n werkgroep
•Assemble a working group
•Verkry ondersteuning van gemeenskapsleiers
•Get support of community leaders
•Herhaal die proses vir ander scenario’s
•Repeat the process for other scenarios



The following examples were mentioned for family preparedness:

•Get small battery and inverter pack – 1,000W
•Kry klein battery en omsetterpak  – 1,000W
•Power for 2-way radio, mobile phone, TV, computer, few lights, fridge
•Krag vir 2-rigting radio, selfoon, TV, rekenaar, ’n paar ligte, yskas
•Solar panel or diesel generator for longer outages
•Sonpaneel of diesel kragopwekker vir lang kragonderbrekings
•Have ready cash  / Hou voorraad kontant
•Fuel & water reserves / Brandstof & water reserwes
•Buy more canned food than usual / Koop meer blikkieskos as gewoonlik
•Keep gas bottles filled / Hou gasbottels vol
•Transport & route planning / Vervoer & roetebeplanning
•Rucksack /ready pack with small items
•Rugsak gepak & gereed met klein items
•Prescription medicine / Voorskrifmedisyne


The presentation was ended with the following important message:


Hou vrede

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