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Flathead Electric Cooperative urges members to prepare for historic cold weather

Flathead Electric Cooperative
Posted at 11:23 AM, Dec 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-20 13:23:00-05

KALISPELL – The Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC) is urging members to be ready for this week’s potentially historic cold temperatures.

While the frigid temps aren’t expected to cause power outages on their own, other factors can be a threat to the power supply, including motor vehicle accidents.

FEC notes that when cold weather outages do happen, restoring power can take much longer and can be more challenging.

Flathead Electric Cooperative is urging members to be prepared in the event of power loss during life-threatening cold temperatures. Resources are available at

“Being prepared doesn’t happen by accident,” FEC Community Relations Manager Katie Pfennigs said. “While our crews are out every day maintaining our system to prevent outages, there are events, such as winter storms and car-versus-pole accidents, that are out of our control. Outages do happen, and we want our members to have a plan that will keep them warm and safe if their power goes out.”

FEC has several resources that can be used to get outage information. FEC’s dispatch center is staffed 24/7 to respond to power outages. Members can report that their power is out by calling 406-751-4449. Additional information about current power outages is also typically available on FEC’s website.

Below are some outage preparation tips from FEC:

  • Make sure you have an alternate heat source, and keep it properly prepared, i.e., source and properly store kerosene for your heater; candles; and wood, gas, or pellets for stoves.
  • Stock up on water! Whether you buy it bottled or do it yourself, keep in mind that electric water pumps don’t work when the power is out. Store your water supply where it won’t freeze.
  • Lay in extra food supplies, too, and remember infant formula and pet food if you have actual babies or fur babies in your life.
  • Charge up your devices, and put your flashlights, batteries, power banks, lanterns, and radios in an easy-to-access location.
  • Top off your gas tank. Most gas stations rely on electricity to operate their pumps, and you might need to use your vehicle as a charging or warming station in an emergency.
  • Prep your home for cold temperatures. Seal drafts, insulate pipes, and install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups on every level of your home.