Sandbags: Where to Get Them & Ways to Make Your Own
During times of serious flooding, one of the most important things to most people after their own safety is to keep the water out of their homes and businesses.
There are many ways of blocking off and retaining water outside buildings, but one of the most popular ways of keeping the inside of buildings dry is by stacking sandbags around vulnerable areas.
The best places to find sandbags are usually SES centers, gardening centers, and hardware stores.
However, sandbags can be a rare commodity when everyone is trying to protect their property, so it's important to be aware of cheap and easy-to -use alternatives for keeping your home dry.
Below you'll find some basic tips for getting the best use out of household items, as well as sandbags, to keep your house as dry as possible.
Places to Get Sandbags
Many places either give away or sell sandbags during times of flood. Most of these places will have maximums on the amount of sandbags they will provide per person, to make sure everyone gets some. Here are some places that may have sandbags available in your area:
- Emergency Services
- Hardware Stores
- Camping Stores
TIP: Another quick alternative is to buy bags of potting mix from a local gardening store. Potting mix varies in price so check around and see what store has discount or cheap potting mix.
Reinforcing and Getting the Best Use out of Your Sandbag
Simply filling a bag with sand and throwing it at the door may be the fastest option if you're fighting desperately to stop flood water coming in. However there are some ways to make sure you get the longest life and best results from your sandbags. These include:
- Zip Ties - Use these to seal up the open end of the sandbag to guarantee it won't bust open at the weakest seam.
- Place the sand in plastic bags first - The extra layer of protection will keep the sand in the bag for longer and help stop water.
Other Alternatives to Sandbags
If you either can't access sandbags or there are none left nearby, there are many other alternatives you can use to shield your home from flood waters. Here are some ideas:
- Pillow Cases
- Double (one inside the other) plastic bags
- Hessian (many hardware stores and rural supplies will have hessian by the metre.)
- Potting mix
- Gravel/Small Rocks
- Kitty Litter
- Heavy items such as blankets and old clothing or rags
- Any heavy and moldable items