With rain pouring down, Jerry Tresman and his wife, Mindy, looked in horror at the water rushing into the basement crock that held their sump pump. The water was rising. Running continuously the pump couldn’t keep up. In minutes the water would surely overflow, flooding their newly finished basement. Jerry grabbed some pails. Bending over the crock he began scooping up water, using a small pail to fill bigger ones. “Empty the big pails into the bath tub,” Jerry told Mindy. He felt bad for his commanding tone, but time was critical and action, needed. Every few minutes they switched positions. After an hour, huffing for breath and with aching backs, they realized they were losing the battle. Family and neighbors arrived, responding to Mindy’s hastily sent Facebook plea. A second pump helped for a while, but even with two pumps and extra workers the unwanted water continued to rise. Soon it overflowed the pit and streaked across the floor. The crew stopped their efforts to hold back the water and began moving boxes and furniture away from the hostile threat of the encroaching flood. Hours later the rain let up, and the assault of water abated. With a third pump, they finally made progress, but by then half the basement was flooded. Exhausted, the couple wondered what to do next. Standing ankle deep in water, a call to their insurance agent was greeted by an answering machine. Jerry hung up in anger. They needed help now, not the next morning. “Try ER Water Works,” someone said. “They cleaned up my uncle’s house when their stream overflowed.” Mindy found the number and Jerry called, praying it wouldn’t be another answering machine. “Good evening, ER Water Works, this is Ashley.” “I’m so glad you’re still in the office,” Peter blurted. “We’re their emergency answering service. Do you have an emergency?” “Yes, our basement flooded. We need help—right away.” “We can handle that. Let me get some information, and then I’ll connect you with Darcy. She’s scheduling the work crews tonight.” Ashley was both efficient and sympathetic as she gathered the details. By the time she transferred the call to Marcy, Jerry’s breathing was back to normal and he was no longer shaking. He let out a long sigh of relief as Darcy worked out the details. By mid-morning the cleanup crew had the critical work done. It was only then that Jerry and Mindy’s insurance agent called back. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan. Contact us to learn how a telephone answering service can answer your emergency calls 24/7.