The only hitch in setting up the pump was that they were out of the fittings needed to couple two 25' hoses together. (My side door turns out to be 26' from the bottom of the staircase.) They did have 2' long lengths of PVC pipe that I was able to clamp in between, so that's working, although is a little leaky. I've got the leak aimed out the door, so that's okay, too. Of course the side door is wide open, but it's not particularly cold out.
The big problem is that I have no sump, i.e., a hole in the basement floor into which the pump would fit to let the water cascade down atop it. The pump's intake is on the top, you see, so once the level gets down to an inch or so, it'll be useless. I suppose I could buy a million marbles and dump them on the floor to raise the water level, but that seems counter productive. And expensive.
So I bought a new shop-vac, which I've been looking for an excuse to do for a long time. There's nothing wrong with my old one. It was free and works fine, but it's louder than a frelling jet engine on afterburner. What I'll do after the present crisis is over is clean out the old one and save it for occasions like this, and use the new one in the shop. The other thing I'm going to have to do is somehow chop a sump out of the concrete floor. That should be good for a few laughs.
Hmmm, sounds like the pump is running out of water. Time to unpack the new vac.