Proper Handling of Sandbags Used for Floods

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.

In addition to absorbing water, sandbags collect contaminants, including animal waste, that come from the floodwaters. Bacteria can quickly breed in these soiled sandbags, so the local residents must handle the sandbags properly. Also, sandbags may rot or break down, becoming unstable, so they should be removed soon after the flood.

Proper care depends on what the bag is made of and what contaminants it’s come in contact with, but there are general guidelines for disposal.

Below are precautions to take with each sandbag:

  • Remember the sandbags are wet and slippery; take care not to slip or trip over the bags.
  • Always wear gloves and boots for protection from cuts and contaminants.
  • Take care with the bags: Cutting the bags will cause the sand to blow around. Try to keep as much sand as possible in the bags.
  • Be aware that sand exposed to bacteria, hazardous chemicals, sewage, and oil can harm citizens’ health and the environment.
  • Sand is coarse and can easily cut faces: Avoid touching it, and especially keep it away from your eyes.
  • Never reuse the sand in sandboxes or any areas where people can have direct contact. Only use the sand in construction projects.

Before disposing of soiled sandbags and sand, check with your local landfill for instructions. Some areas may have specific rules or collection dates. Check your local paper or your township’s website for those details.

In general, the easiest way to remove a large amount of sandbags is loading them into a pickup truck. Remember to wash and disinfect the truck bed after disposing the sandbags.

Below are guidelines for proper handling of clean sandbags or sand:

  • Clean, filled sandbags can be reused for a future flood for up to 6 months.
  • Unused, empty sandbags can be saved for future use indefinitely.
  • Unused sand can be used to cover icy roads and sidewalks, mixed into concrete, or mortar.
  • Do not dispose of sand in any environmentally sensitive or protected area such as a wetland, waterway, or flood plain.

Following these guidelines will ensure safe and proper disposal of sandbags. Whether a national disaster or a military conflict,sandbags from NYP Corp. are there to provide protection from rising flood waters or enemy aggression. Call 1-800-524-1052 or fill out the online form to speak with a representative.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013 at 9:27 am and is filed under Flood Protection, Sandbags. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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