All the people in this picture are on phones…assuming you can make them…

power outage at NRS

All the people in this picture are on phones…assuming you can make them out.

It’s been really, really warm across most of the US, with temperatures hitting the mid-90s more often than one might expect in June. A risk that cities and electric companies face when it gets hot and people crank their air conditioners is that the power grid can’t keep up, and large swaths of residents and business lose power.

That’s exactly what happened at the hotline last Wednesday. Computers turned off, the lights went out, and the office got uncomfortably warm very quickly, with one exception – our call center.

A 24-hour hotline like ours has to be prepared for situations like this. In our case, the phone system went right to backup, and a battery supply kicked in for the call center computers. Calls in progress continued uninterrupted, and our awesome crisis line staff and volunteers continued to provide resources to callers.

This isn’t the first time we’ve faced a tough weather situation. Back in February 2011, Chicago was hit by a major blizzard – the worst the city had seen in nearly 35 years. Plows couldn’t keep up with the snow. Major streets were shut down. Remember this picture?

Chicago 2011 blizzard - Lake Shore Drive

“My car’s ruined anyway…let’s take photos!”
(photo courtesy Trib Media)

Chicago was a (snowy) hot mess. And yet, our call center staff and volunteers continued to provide service without interruption.

When we say we’re here 24/7/365, we mean it. Our phone lines are always open for you when you need to talk.

– Jasleen