Posts Tagged ‘emergency sandbags’

Inexpensive Erosion Control in Developing Countries

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erosion3Soil erosion is a major concern all over the world. It may be a slow process that continues over time unnoticed, or a faster-paced disaster causing detrimental loss of topsoil. From Afghanistan, India, Nepal to Tibet, technologies preventing, mitigating or stopping soil erosion is a combination of learning to replace indigenous plants, make structural changes, and adopting new agricultural measures.

Damage caused by heavy soil erosion is often irreversible so it is important to be proactive and take conservation measures prior to events like flooding, drought, landslides, and roadside erosion. Developed countries have been increasingly aware of the use of natural plant fibers creating biodegradable fabrics or matting (made of jute, burlap, and coir) to pin exposed soil in place until foliage and new landscaping features can provide more permanence to unstable and sloping areas of land. Sharing these very inexpensive solutions with other countries help their development and economy.

As countries develop they alter the landscape as the population expands and the land is used more intensely. Without erosion control, soil can be destroyed as rainfall dislodges soil, reduces soil fertility, clogs rivers with sediment, and ruins the quality of drinking water. The land is unable to recharge groundwater levels, flooding issues occur, and urban and rural communities suffer.

Modern thinking aims to correct poor agriculture practices, the abuse of natural fields and forests, and improper irrigation and drainage systems in developing countries through simple landscaping practices such as contouring and terracing. The use of fibrous matting, rolls, and sandbags can prevent soil movement whether foliage repopulates naturally or through deliberate means.

Climate change and land use mismanagement have created serious disasters in tropical locations devastated by storms on steep grades causing landslides, flooding, building destruction, loss of life and serious economic issues. The aftermath of earthquakes is unstable slopes that result in major sediment flowing into rivers and streams, destabilization of levees and dykes, roadway and bridge erosion.

Coastal erosion in areas of Asia and other countries in the Indian Ocean are mostly natural processes caused by various weather elements, along with population growth and poorly managed economic development near the coastlines. This type of erosion is common in Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.

erosion4Between nature and human intervention mangrove loss is making coastal areas more susceptible to erosion. Man compounds the natural erosion effects of fires, hurricanes, tidal waves, storms and natural erosion cycles of changing sea levels with logging, land cultivation, aquaculture, and salt ponds as well as urban construction and development stripping the soil.


In developing countries, soil erosion eventually affects the livelihoods of the communities that face difficulties in sustaining their farms and have to look for work alternatives. Teaching about causes of soil erosion and the uses of fibrous matting, rolls, and sandbags can keep these countries more economically stable. Proper erosion control efforts are necessary, very effective, and due to the use of natural plant fibers, very inexpensive.


Planned Erosion Control Using Fibrous Mats to Avoid Future Problems

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Landscaping and construction industries use jute and burlap fabrics including mats, rolls, and sandbags for environmental remediation when planning and preparing land for new structures. Proper use and preparation of soil in advance can minimize natural and man-made disasters from happening. Plant fiber products are a valuable tool in erosion control because there are so many ways to use them. They biodegrade as new plants take hold and other landscaping structures are installed. They include:erosion2

  • Burlap for immediate erosion control on very steep slopes susceptible to destabilization, biodegrading over time.
  • Jute mesh with large square grids to allow plants room to grow through them biodegrades eliminating the need to remove it later.
  • Coir mat made from the exterior of coconut shells after processing holds water and resists decomposition for longer periods of use than burlap and jute.


Why Do We Still Use Sandbags in Floods?

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sandbag 3The use of sandbags dates back to the Revolutionary War when a Chief Engineer was appointed in the Continental Army in 1775. It was discovered that sandbags being used for temporary military forts were also effective for fighting flood waters. By 1824, money was being set aside by Congress for improved river navigation along with road, railroad, and bridge construction. They began offering assistance for local flood disasters when state and local governments lacked the resources to do it alone. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today has the authority to inspect and strengthen flood control structures like levees and dikes and provide supplies and evacuation assistance.

This branch of the military conducts emergency flood response training every year including techniques in filling and using sandbags. The Corps’ districts maintain and store supplies of sandbags and other flood fighting materials to add to the stocks of state and local storage facilities. Back in 2008, several levees were breached in a portion of the Mississippi River located in St. Louis, MO. Nearly 13 million sandbags were provided and most were filled and stacked by the community.

The reason for using sandbags was the same during the Revolutionary War as it is now. They are cheap, easy to use, and consistently effective. We often still use the simple burlap bag filled with sand and now we’ve added the use of polypropylene plastic, made from the scraps of textile manufacturers to create an alternative that is just as cost effective. Add the use of shovels, sand, and hands, and building a 4 to 6-foot tall dike can be quickly achieved.

Most bags are shipped empty to prepare for use in advance of weather warnings, but can be pre-filled in an emergency when the timing is critical. Sand and soil are conveniently plentiful in any location such as local quarries providing sand for construction. The bags are reusable and the sand can be used on icy streets in the winter or used as fill material under roads or buildings later.sandbag 4

You may be using sandbags in the yard for landscaping purposes like retaining walls. Have you considered the low areas on your property and the possible need for flood control as well? It makes sense to have an emergency plan whether you live in a flood-prone area or not. There are plenty of man-made causes for flooding too so be aware of the possibilities for flooding in your area.

Floods often happen during hurricane season. The combination of water and rain overflows streams, rivers, and creeks, rapidly taking over and destroying roadways. It only takes six inches of moving water to knock a person down and two feet to carry your vehicle away. Many floods have prior warning signs, but flash flooding happens quickly and is the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Having a few inexpensive sandbags stored in a dry area in case of emergency can reduce the toll on your family and home.


Sandbags: Natures Building Blocks

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A simple sandbag is made of burlap or woven polypropylene and fillednyp sandbag 1 with sand or soil, often directly on the intended site, and used for flood control in the construction of levees, berms, dikes, and flood walls. Other structures built with sandbags include barricades for erosion, traffic control, and military fortification. The materials used to make them are abundant and they can prevent both further personal loss and property damage before, during, and after natural disasters.

Properly filled and placed sandbags can divert moving water around communities and structures. Repairs are made to levees and dams and used to train water flows to specific areas.  They are stacked in a brick pattern to form a wall and reinforced with plywood sheeting and plastic tarps.


Hurricane and Flood-Related Emergency Sandbags

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Emergency Sandbags

There are many uses for burlap sandbags like raised garden beds, retaining walls, steps, footpaths in water-logged areas, low-cost green building materials for homes, and added weight in pickup trucks during icy weather.


Proper Handling of Sandbags Used for Floods

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Proper Handling of Sandbags Used for FloodsAfter the floodwaters dissipate, the citizens are responsible for the cleanup, which includes the proper handling or disposal of emergency sandbags for floods. When handling and disposing sandbags, it is important to keep safety first. Soiled sandbags are exposed to much bacteria and other contaminants and must be handled with care. Learn more by reading a previous blog How to Correctly Dispose Sandbags After Flooding.


Be Prepared This Flood Season with a Flood Safety Kit

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Creating a Flood Safety KitTropical Storm Andrea was the first names storm this Hurricane season.  Rain has been heavy this year with flooding becoming a big concern across the U.S. for homeowners.

Are you prepared if this happens to you? Be prepared to try to hold back the flood waters by using filled sandbags, such as emergency sandbags available from NYP Corp.

By buying pre-filled sandbags you save valuable time by not having to find and fill bags yourself. Read a previous blog and learn how to protect your home from flooding this year.


Sandbags Used to Protect Your Home From Flooding

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Sandbags Used to Protect Properties from FloodingFloods are the number one cause of damage to private property in the United States. With a potentially wet spring and summer ahead, it is critical for you to act now to protect your property from floodwater damage.

You can use several techniques to protect your home and minimize the destruction and costs of repairs. Some of these methods are simple and only require a small investment in money, time and material.

NYP Corp provides sandbags, emergency sandbags and pre-filled sandbags in stock ready to help business owners and homeowners properly protect their property from severe flood damage.


Snowmelt Causes Flooding

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Flood Protection with NYP Corp Sandbags

With spring just around the corner and the snow beginning to melt, the risk of basement or property floods from snowmelt significantly increases. Flooding can cause massive structural damage to homes or other buildings, and mold and other disease-causing bacteria thrive on wet dry wall or submerged carpet.

Protect Your Property

Protecting homes against snowmelt should be the number-one priority for all building owners. NYP Corp produces and distributes a full line of Military and commercial grade sandbags ideal for protecting against rising flood waters.


Flood Safety Awareness Week March 18 – 22

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NYP Corp Provides Sandbags for Food ProtectionFlooding occurs every month of the year and affects all regions of the country. People are generally more concerned with tornadoes, hurricanes and even snowstorms than flooding even though flash floods cause more deaths than any other weather related event. Educating citizens about various aspects of flooding  is the primary goal of Flood Safety Awareness Week.

The National Weather Service (NWS) created Flood Safety Awareness Week to increase the public’s understanding of the causes of floods, inform them of the NWS’s role in forecasting and issuing flood warnings and educate them on how to protect themselves and their property. Flood Safety Awareness Week takes place each March with varying local events and programming.