Tropical Storm Isaac Tips – Effective Use of Sandbags

Before, during and after Isaac the FLASH team will provide tips and resources to help you prepare your home and protect your family.

In response to potential flooding due to Tropical Storm Isaac, FLASH offers the following tips for the effective use of sandbags


  • Fill sandbags one-half full.
  • Use sand if readily available, otherwise, use local soil.
  • Fold top of sandbag down and rest bag on its folded top.


  • Take care in stacking sandbags.
  • Limit placement to three layers, unless stacked up against a building or sandbags are placed in a pyramid.
  • Tamp each sandbag into place, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer.
  • Clear a path between buildings for debris flow.
  • Lay a plastic sheet in between the building and the bags to control the flow and prevent water from seeping into sliding glass doors.


  • Sandbags will not seal out water.
  • Sandbags deteriorate when exposed to continued wetting and drying for several months. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed.
  • Sandbags are for small water flow protection – up to two feet. Protection from larger flow requires a more permanent flood prevention system.
  • Wet sandbags are very heavy and caution should be used to avoid injury.

Consult your local environmental protection department before disposing of used sandbags. Sandbags exposed to contaminated floodwaters may pose an environmental hazard and require special handling. More information on flood prevention is available at

Sandbag FLASH Card

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