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Sandbags: Natures Building Blocks

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.

Emergency Shelters

Sandbags resist all kinds of severe weather and empty bags can be stored for emergency use for several years in the proper environment. They are the strongest material for all temporary or permanent protective barriers. It’s no wonder it was discovered that another temporary structure could deliver shelter. Sandbags called Earth Bags utilize the free earth and can shelter and sustain a population of people displaced by a natural or man-made disaster. Nature has always balanced its own elements providing us with the best materials with the smallest environmental impact and this is just another example. When a house burns, falls apart, or is swept away, it can be replaced quickly, used temporarily, and in some cases, with additional reinforcement, become permanent.

One of the strongest structures in nature is the arch, dome, or vault and sandbags can easily form these shapes using the soil on the location and tarps for roofing. They protect against wind, rain, heat, cold, snow, bullets, fire, flooding, hurricanes and noise and have already been built and used following the devastating loss of housing from earthquakes. These homes are easy enough for the population to construct on their own making it possible to begin building without waiting for government and military intervention.nyp sandbag 2

Aside from natural disasters, war can often displace people from their homes. Common war materials happen to include sandbags and barbed wire; the ingredients of safe shelters in a new product called SuperAdobe designed and developed by architect Nader Khalili and the Cal-Earth Institute.  Adobe itself is made of earth, clay, sand, and straw, molded into a brick, and dried in the sun, but what if you don’t have time to do that? The sandbag uses the same concept using the burlap or polypropylene to maintain the shape of the soil. The choice of the sandbags exterior material determines the life of the shelter.

Emergency Preparedness

As we enter the season where natural disasters like hurricanes become more prevalent, it is good to know that there continue to be new options for such a basic material to be supplied, stored and available for any number of uses in an emergency. There will always be weather-related disasters and wartime activity. Every community should store sandbags as part of their planning efforts.

 

 

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This entry was posted on Monday, May 23rd, 2016 at 3:40 pm and is filed under Emergency, NYP-Corp News, Sandbags.

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