Stay Safe During an Outage and Around Power Lines

Be Prepared for Storms!

Storm Checklist

To report an outage, call Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative at 1-800-279-2667.

To see the Mountrail-Williams service map and to find updates about your outage area, check out our Outage Map.

If your lights go off during a storm, be prepared for the power outage. Assemble supplies to have on hand rather than rushing around when the storm is coming and waiting in long lines for milk or bread. Rotate your supplies to keep them fresh and use the following checklist to prepare for power outages:

  • Keep a 3- to 5-day supply of drinking water in plastic bottles. Plan on at least 1 gallon of water per person, per day.
  • Store a manual can opener with enough nonperishable foods for 3 to 5 days. Canned meats, tuna fish and peanut butter are good foods to store. Don’t forget pet foods!
  • Conserve water by using paper plates and plastic utensils.
  • Have a camp stove or grill for outdoor cooking.
  • Have a portable,battery-powered radio and alarm clock.
  • Have one non-portable phone that will work even if power is interrupted.
  • Plan where to meet and how to communicate with family members if separated.
    Keep essential family member contact information near your phone, in your wallet, and in your glove compartment.
  • Keep plenty of gas in your car.
  • Keep extra batteries, matches, propane, charcoal and firewood.
  • Coordinate with neighbors for care of the elderly and disabled living alone.
  • Maintain a supply of prescriptions, nonprescription drugs, vitamins and special dietary foods.
  • Playing cards, books, drawing and writing supplies, and board games help pass the time. If you have a video camera and tapes, your family can make a storm documentary.
  • Keep sanitary and personal hygiene supplies replenished. Premoistened cleansing towelettes are useful and help conserve water.
  • Use plastic trash bags and ties for garbage.
  • Put first-aid kits in your home and car.
  • Make sure you have cold weather clothing, foul weather gear, blankets and sleeping bags.
  • Consider purchasing alternative UL-approved heating devices. For example, a fireplace insert or woodstove will keep the heat in your home instead of up the chimney.
  • Use flashlights and other battery-operated lighting instead of candles.
  • Keep fire extinguishers fully charged.
  • Fill your bathtub with water for bathroom use before the storm (if you have a well).

Check to see current weather conditions.

Never connect a standby generator into your home's electrical system. There are only two safe ways to connect a standby generator to your equipment.


Stationary Generator:
An approved generator transfer switch, which keeps your house circuits separate from the electric co-op, should be installed by a professional.


Portable Generator:
Plug appliances directly into the outlet provided on the generator. 

Never run your generator in an enclosed space. Set up and run your generator in a well-ventilated area outside the home. Make sure it's out and away from your garage, doors, windows and vents. The carbon monoxide generated is deadly.

Use a heavy-duty extension cord to connect electric appliances to the outlet on the generator.

Start the generator first before connecting appliances.

Planned Outages

Planned Outage FAQs

A planned outage occurs when the equipment that brings power to your home or business needs to be replaced, repaired, or updated. This interruption to your electrical service helps to keep our crews and you safe.

Members are currently notified via phone call to the phone number on file.

Beginning August 1st, 2023 members may receive an email and/or text message, to the provided contact information on file, notifying them of any planned outages in their area.

You can update your contact information via SmartHub or by calling 800-279-2667.

Sample Email:

Sample Text:

You will receive a phone call ONLY notifying you of an upcoming outage so that these members do not receive multiples notifications. We are currently working to find a way to notify these accounts via email and/or text with one message.

Planned Outage Tips

  1. Have a back-up plan for life support equipment if you have it.
  2. Adjust your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest temperature possible in advance so that things can get chilled more than normal. (Remember to return them to the normal temperature after the outage is over.) Food will stay colder longer if you keep the refrigerator/freezer closed during the outage!
  3. Unplug sensitive electronics such as computers and televisions.
  4. Charge your cell phone in advance so it has a full charge.
  5. Keep a flashlight with extra batteries in a convenient place.
  6. If you have a landline phone, make sure you have a hard-wired device. (Cordless phone don't work without electricity)
  7. Reset clocks, thermostats, and other programmed equipment after power is restored.
  8. Inform MWEC if you have a generator. Do not use it unless you're sure it was installed safely. An incorrectly installed generator can damage your property and endanger you and our lineworkers who may be working on nearby powerlines.