- Fill sites are providing both bags and sand.
- You will need to plan to fill up your own sandbags.
- Please bring your own shovels/sandbag filling tools to the sandbag fill site.
Sandbag Filling Tips
Sandbag protection for your property could significantly aid in the reduction/mitigation of water damage during/after a storm. However, sandbagging must be done correctly in order to be effective. Be sure to prepare sandbags and pre-fill bags with sand before eminent adverse weather is announced.
Procedural Suggestions for Properly Sandbagging Your Home:
- If not working on concrete, a small ditch should be dug deep enough to go below ground level. The ditch should be back far enough from the entrance to allow room to place pumps into the protected area.
- The edge of the Visqueen (or other polyethylene plastic sheeting) should be placed in the ditch as a bottom layer.
- Place the first row of sandbags in the ditch, then:
- Fold Visqueen over the top of the first row
- Place a second row of bags on top
- Fold the Visqueen back over that row
- Place a third row of bags on top, and so on. This creates an "S" pattern with the Visqueen.
- Depending on the size of the barrier, one or more submersible (sump) pumps should be utilized. The barrier will not completely stop water from entering the protected area. However, with the proper placement of bags, Visqueen and sump pumps, water, in most cases can be removed quickly.
- Place bags close to entrance ways and consider all entry points where water normally enters, not just doorways but areas such as airbricks and utility service points.
- Sandbags are of no use if your property is already flooded. In this scenario, you should concentrate all efforts on protecting yourself and your belongings.
- You will need at least six sandbags to keep out 20cm of water for a standard door opening.
- Each sandbag needs approximately 33 pounds of sand.
- Inflatable sandbags are not appropriate bags for building a sand wall they can be washed away.
- You can pre-position inflatable sandbags under doorways and entrances that are first affected by rising flood waters.
Keep in Mind:
- Caution should be used when cutting Visqueen.
- Always get someone to help you fill sandbags, and be sure to use the proper lifting techniques to avoid injury.
- Stack sandbags AT LEAST three rows high to ensure proper coverage.
- When placing sandbags, be sure to leave space between the bags and the area being barricaded. This will allow room for the sump pump to drain seepage.
- NOTE: Sandbagging does not completely eliminate the flow of water.
- Always use caution when dealing with electrical equipment in or near flooded areas (e.g. submersible pump).
Sources: Polk County Emergency Management, Polk County Fire Rescue, Office of Disaster Preparedness & Management
View Polk County Emergency Management's Sandbagging Your Home guide here.