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City activates Disaster Operations Centre to mitigate impacts of higher load-shedding stages

Although City-supplied customers remain on Stage 4 for the most part following Eskom’s announcement that it is moving to Stage 6, the City’s transversal Disaster Operations Centre has been activated to mitigate any potential impacts for the residents of Cape Town.

The Disaster Operations Centre is coordinated by the City’s Safety and Security Directorate, and includes a host of City departments.

A range of identified priorities are being dealt with, including ensuring maximum deployment in areas affected by prolonged power outages; redirecting enforcement and emergency service resources where necessary and conducting point duty at major intersections affected by load-shedding.

All services are also on standby to deal with any public safety issues that may arise, as nightfall sets in.

‘Public safety is a concern, particularly with extended outages in Eskom supply areas. While the City is availing as many resources as possible, we appeal to residents to work with us by ensuring that their homes and personal property is secured, that they use alternative lighting and cooking devices safely and that they report any incidents to the relevant authorities as soon as possible,’ said the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith.

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS/ADVISORIES

SAFETY AND SECURITY: Backup batteries for electrically operated gates, garage doors and security systems should be kept in a good working condition and be able to last through periods of load-shedding. Store temporary lighting such as battery-powered torches, gas lamps and candles in places where they will be easy to find in the dark.

TRANSPORT: Make sure that your vehicle always has fuel in the tank as most petrol stations are unable to pump fuel during power outages. Traffic lights that are out and unmanned, should be treated as four-way stops at intersections.

COMMUNICATION: Ensure that your cell phone, laptop, tablet and radio are always fully charged when power is available. This will allow you to be able to communicate with friends and family during load-shedding.

MEDICATION requiring refrigeration can be kept in a closed fridge for several hours without spoiling, but you should check with your doctor or pharmacist if in doubt.

SUSTENANCE: If you do not have a gas stove, prepare meals before the power is scheduled to be switched off. Boil water in your kettle and keep it in thermos flasks for hot drinks. You can also use an insulating cover on teapots, pots and pans to keep drinks and meals warm. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. A power outage that lasts for four hours or less should not cause food to spoil. A freezer should keep frozen food safe for at least a day. Fill plastic containers with water and store them in a deep freeze or freezer compartment of your fridge. Leave some space in each container for the frozen water to expand and use the frozen water to keep food cold.

NEIGHBOURHOOD ASSISTANCE: Your local neighbourhood watch will assist vulnerable people like the elderly and people living with disabilities.

WATER AND SANITATION: For any water and sanitation emergencies residents are kindly requested to report these issues via the City’s official contact details soonest. The sooner we are made aware of it, the sooner we can schedule our operational response to resolve the issues within a reasonable timeframe, given the current power situation.

Disaster Management and other City departments are in constant contact with Eskom.

They have plans and procedures in place designed to deal with the situation as effectively as possible.

The City is co-ordinating resources and constantly liaises with all organisations in this regard. Emergency teams have been mobilised to assist where needed.

Source: City Of Cape Town