Using Sandbags for Flood Protection

Flood ProtectionMother Nature can be completely unpredictable, and although modern science has unlocked ways to predict oncoming natural disasters, response programs and protection systems in even the most developed still aren’t perfect.Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the damage that these environmental conditions cause. Floods are one of the most common natural disasters around the world, so common that the news doesn’t even cover every flood. Floods are common for cities near the coast, as well as cities and towns that make their homes around rivers or in areas with unusually high rainfall.

Using emergency sandbags for flood protection can help reduce the severity of floods and minimize damage but it is important to use them properly. Overfilling sandbags or not putting enough sand in the bag does not create an effective dike. For a good seal, sandbags should be filled about half full with a snug tie at the top of the bag.

Sandbags can get a bit heavy when lifting, so it’s a good idea to ensure that people who are planning on moving a large number of sandbags are using the right technique to avoid twisting muscles in their lower and upper back. It helps to lift from the knees and hand the sandbag along to the next person in line. Passing the sandbag along gently is the best way to ensure that no one is hurt from the lifting.

The first layer of sandbags should be placed lengthwise or parallel to the flood’s flow. Basically, lap the bags so the empty part does not leave a gap in the dike. Do this by laying the full part of the sand bag over the next bag’s empty half. This ensures a tight and effective seal against flood water. In terms of the next layers, it is a smart idea to offset the next layer by one-half of a bag, similar to how bricks are not lined up all the way up and down.

To deal with flood waters a foot or higher, the dike should be shaped like a pyramid. When finished stacking up the stand bags, have volunteers stretch a sheet of plastic over the bags to seal them and insulate them against the floodwater. Use sandbags as weight to hold the plastic sheet in place.

Sump pumps can be used to control the extra seepage from flood water. If you don’t have a sump pump, dig a small hole in the ground on the dry side of the dike and place bucket that has everal holes in it. The bucket will fill up with water seepage. You can then pull it up and dump it on the wet side of the ike.

Finally, make certain to dispose of the sand after the flood. Floodwater-contaminated sand is not safe for playgrounds or sand boxes, and can only be used in construction projects.

NYP Corp realizes that using sandbags to prevent flooding involves massive planning and effort. It is important that you carefully plan and have expert help when constructing the dike. That’s why we’ve got an emergency hotline and an online guide on how to properly use sandbags for flood protection. We also have a flood risk map that updates throughout the day.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at 3:43 pm and is filed under Flood Protection, NYP-Corp News, Sandbags.

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