In previous blog posts I identified what I thought to be a huge problem in my SHTF “hunker down” strategy. We are prepared to bug out in an event where it becomes impossible to stay in the local area, but a best case scenario would see my family and I remaining in our house and holding out as long as possible. The problem which I thought I had identified was my basement, and the high probability of it filling up with water if the SHTF and there was no available and reliable power. Of course a basement full of stagnant and nasty water would seriously impede our ability to stay in the house, and let’s not forget that most of my SHTF stash is in the basement itself (potentially being ruined).
My house was built to accommodate for the water, in that when it rains the water drains down underneath the basement and is funneled into a sump tank. In the tank is a sump pump, which (once the water reaches a certain height) pumps the excess water out into the street. In the event of a power outage the pump does have a water backup system which relies on municipal water pumped through our existing water pipes to create a suction effect (a secondary pipe in the sump tank). This suction pulls the water out of the tank and spits it out away from the house. Those who built this house clearly had a primary and backup system in mind which would operate in the event of a power outage, but they clearly did not have a SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation in mind during which long term power outages and public resources would probably be knocked out for quite a while. This was the puzzle I had to solve, how to remove the excess water from my sump tank in order to keep my basement dry in a SHTF situation.
Enter the solution: a hand pump, a nice little device which can pump up to 12 gallons of water a minute. The basic premise of this device is pretty simple in that it only requires the pump and a motivated individual. You attach a hose to both ends of the pump utilizing an adapter and hose clamp fittings. You then run one hose down into the water of the sump tank and the other hose out of the basement window and once the water level starts rising you manually pump the water out away from the house. I realize this concept seems very labor intensive and I’m sure it would be, but I would rather have to labor over a hand pump for a few hours than face a basement filled with a foot of water. I also realize that this could potentially turn into a daily task during the times when we get lots of rain but there is really no other option at this point.
The bottom line is I have found a decent solution to a problem which originally had me pretty concerned. I now have a tertiary method to pump the water out of my sump tank, thus keeping my basement dry (in theory) when it rains. Most likely I would only need to utilize this method in a serious SHTF scenario during which public services were knocked out for an indefinite period of time.