Preparing for a Flood Using Sandbags - National Flood Insurance

Even a foot of water around your home from minor flooding can cause severe damage. For those residing in flood-prone locations, sandbags may help save your property or business from flood waters.

The use of sandbags is a simple and effective method to prevent or reduce flood water damage. Properly filled and placed sandbags act as a barrier to divert moving water around buildings. Sandbag construction does not guarantee a water-tight seal and will not keep all water out but is adequate in most situations.

But do you know how to use sandbags correctly? Here are several tips to effectively use sandbags:

  • Place plastic sheeting on the ground in front of the door

  • Apply duct tape to keep plastic fastened to the door and wall

  • If possible, only use coarse sand in the bags

  • Tightly pile sandbags against the door and over the plastic on the ground, extending the bags slightly beyond both sides of the doorway

  • Stagger the sandbags on top of one another, similar to the way bricks overlap

Unfortunately, many local governments limit the number of sandbags provided to each home. Prior to a hurricane or severe storm, check with emergency management offices or watch for news reports of where sandbags are distributed. Once the storm has passed, remember to dispose of the sand and bags. The county will not come and collect the sandbags.

Take the necessary steps before and after a hurricane or severe storm to protect your property from flood damage.