Sandbag Tips from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Print
News Releases - Environment, Weather & Nature
Written by Trenise Lyons   
Monday, 28 March 2011 07:52

In advance of possible floods in Davenport, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc. – FLASH offers the following tips for homeowners and business owners using sandbags to protect their property.  Sandbags can be useful in redirecting storm water and debris flows away from your home. But be sure that the sandbags are properly filled and maintained. Here's how:

  • Fill sandbags one-half full. Use sand if readily available, otherwise use soil.
  • Fold the top of the sandbag down and set the bag on its folded top. Take care in stacking the sandbags. Tamp each sandbag into place, completing each layer before you begin a new layer.
  • Keep a clear path between buildings for to allow for debris to flow through.
  • Limit placement of bags to three layers unless place against the side of a building.
  • If bags are placed against a building, place a sheet of plastic between the building and the bags.  This will control the flow and prevent water from seeping into doors.  

There are limits to what sandbags can do and once they are used, you will want to take special precautions.  A few reminders:

  • Sandbags deteriorate when exposed to continued wetting and drying for several months.
  • Sandbags are for small water flow protection -- up to two feet.
  • Be sure to consult with your local environmental protection department before disposing of used sandbags.  Sandbags that are exposed to contaminated floodwaters may pose an environmental hazard and require special handling.

For more information about flood safety, home mitigation and recovery information visit  Flood resources include:

You can also visit to view a library of animated short videos on safety and prevention techniques for floods and many other types of disasters.   FLASH’s consumer resources are backed by free advice from a team of experts available toll-free at (877) 221-SAFE.

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