PANIC LESS!

Rigid Generator

I call this the $1,200 solution to a $12,000 problem.

When we moved into our house, I knew we had sump pumps in the basement- and as our realtor put it “they’re your friend”. Here’s a hint for anyone house hunting: if your house requires a sump pump, unless you REALLY REALLY LOVE IT… pass. It’s better to not need a sump pump. But for us, it's too late.

As a former Boy Scout, I still seriously believe in the motto “be prepared”. When hurricane Irene was heading toward my area, I just shrugged. We have all sorts of battery backup items to charge phones and keep ourselves entertained. He have a barbecue to cook with. What could possibly go wrong? The power inevitably failed as it often does in our area. No big deal. But then I had a thought. “Hey- do those sump pumps need electric?”. I went down to the basement to check. The water as at the top of the well for the pump. My HEAD exploded. I grabbed a Black and Decker battery gadget, powered up the inverter on it and plugged in the sump pump. Nothing. Not nearly enough power as I would later learn. A neighbor had a handy water powered sump pump gadget! You connect it to your faucet- and for every gallon of water you pass through it, it removes 6 gallons! AWESOME. Except it didn’t work. The town had cut the water due to concerns of contamination after the power failed at the water supply.

Our power was out for 5 days during Irene. A neighbor with a portable generator threw us a lifeline for our sump pumps and another neighbor who never lost power ran us a line. No- you’re not supposed to do that! But it beats a flooded basement.

Then came a series of TORNADO warnings in my area. I was already feeling like a WWII Veteran after too many air raids. My head would spin every time I heard RAIN in the forecast. Now they’re adding tornadoes?? Screw this! On the night of one of those pending storms, my wife and I ran to The Home Depot and purchased a generator and two 5 gallon gas containers. The moment we got it in the car, the sky opened up and it felt like someone threw a bucket of water on us! Luckily we never lost power.

Then came Hurricane Sandy! Two days before it hit, I finally uncrated the generator! I had it all ready to rock should the power go out. And it did. For NINE DAYS. But it was not an elegant so