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Flood Warnings

How to Fill Sandbags

03 September 2015

Filling Sandbags

 

It might take you some time – according to the www.gov.uk website it will take on average one hour to fill 12 sandbags, it should actually take a lot less than that.

Roughly, you’ll need at least six sand bags per standard sized door to keep out 20cm of water.  Remember that it’s not just doors that you need to protect, remember to consider airbricks, utility service points and cable entry points.  For small entry points, silicone sealant may do the trick.

If you need to build a substantial sandbag wall, please see a separate article.  To build one 60cm high by one metre in length would require around 80 sandbags.  Bear this in mind for double garages and outbuildings.

You’ve got to think about much more than just filling your sandbags.  Where are you going to get your sand delivered?  Where are you going to get your sand from? Where are you going to get your sacks from? How many people will be there to help you?
Remember you’ve not only to fill the sandbags and tie them off, but you will also have to lay them as well.  So take some time to think about how far the sand is from where you want to build your sandbag wall.

You definitely need two people to fill sandbags, otherwise they will become unmanageable, if you have three people then the third can tie off the sandbags and begin laying them where needed.

The quickest and easiest way is to get hold of a bucket whose bottom will fit in the top of the bag.  Cut the bottom off the bucket so that you have a type of chute that you can shovel the sand into, this will prevent the bag folding over on itself and save a few hit fingers.

Remember that filling sandbags and building a sandbag wall is a physically demanding activity, so make sure everyone involved is fit enough to carry out the work.  The sandbags will get heavy quickly so be sure to not overfill them, about ¾ full will be enough and allow you to tie it off if necessary, you’ll also be able to wrap the open end underneath at this level if you’re not tying them.

So, the takeaways from this article are:

Where will the sand be delivered, is it too far from the sandbag wall site?
Where is sand coming from, where are the bags coming from?
How many people do you have on hand to assist?
Are they fit and able to help you fill the bags and build the wall?

Use two people to fill the sandbags
Cut off the bottom of a bucket or traffic cone to help guide the sand
Get a good work flow going, two people and if possible a third to build the wall

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