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Montanans urged to prepare for severe winter weather

NorthWestern Energy
Posted at 11:15 AM, Jan 11, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-11 13:15:44-05

BUTTE — NorthWestern Energy officials are urging Montanans to be prepared as arctic air moves into the state.

Temperatures are expected to plunge with dangerous wind-chill factors this week, according to the National Weather Service.

The utility offers the following advice in case residents lose power in the coming days:

  • Ensure all your electronic/mobile devices are fully charged.
  • Charge portable charging devices, such as battery banks.
  • If you have an emergency power source, such as a generator, know how to use it properly.
  • Prepare an emergency outage kit. Keep necessary food, medicine, and other supplies on hand, including batteries for flashlights.
  • Have a portable radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio on hand to monitor important information.

People are asked to stay at least 30 feet away from downed or damaged power lines.
NorthWestern Energy customers can report outages online at https://www.northwesternenergy.com/outages or call 888-467-2669.

Additionally, people should make sure their natural gas meter’s regulator vent is clear of snow and ice by using their hands or a broom to gently remove snow from a meter.

Anyone who smells natural gas should leave the area and then call 911.

NorthWestern Energy’s outage page, www.northwesternenergy.com/outages/outage-map provides updates on repair and restoration.

Additional outage safety information can be found at https://www.northwesternenergy.com/safety/outage-safety.


The National Weather Service is providing tips on how to stay safe during the bitter cold.

  • Opt for heated locations to stay warm and protected.
  • Postpone non-essential travel to avoid unnecessary risks.
  • If travel is unavoidable, equip your car with a winter survival kit.
  • Extend a helping hand by checking on elderly and vulnerable individuals.
  • Seek medical assistance if you notice any signs of hypothermia or frostbite.