Sandbag Operations

Fact Sheet:  Proper Use of Sandbags

Sandbag Distribution

Free sandbags are available to Pasco County residents.  Monitor your local news or radio for information and instructions on evacuation routes and shelter locations if needed.

Steps to Protect Your Home

  • 􀀁Do not rely on sandbags alone to protect your property.  Use sheets of plastic tarp
    (visqueen) with sandbags to make a better water barrier for your residence.
  • To form a sandbag wall, place bags tightly against one another to form the first layer of
    defense.  Stagger the second and subsequent layers of bags, similar to the pattern of
    bricks on a wall.  Never use bags to build a fortress around your property because this
    approach can trap water between sandbag walls and structures, causing further
  • Baffle boards consist of 3/4 inch plywood sheets with a soft gasket material like felt or
    foam rubber. They are effective for closing off vents, low windows and doors from floodwater. If placed over vents, baffle boards must be removed immediately after the rain subsides. To temporarily seal foundation vents, windows, doorways and garage doorways:

1. Use 3/4" plywood to overlap the window or vent by three or four inches on all sides.

2. Use soft gasket material like felt or foam rubber that is at least 2 inches wide. Attach it with waterproof glue to the 3/4" plywood.

3. Use four or more nails, screws or bolts to secure the baffle boards over the opening. In stucco, cement or brick walls, special screws or expansion bolts will be required.

4. Install baffle boards to the outside frame of the door.

5. For garage doors, suitable boards one-inch thick may be used instead of plywood for the door seals. The bottom edge of the baffle board should be shaped to fit the driveway surface so there will be a watertight seal on the bottom. Use baffles to seal door cracks vertical to and higher than the bottom seal.

6. In an emergency, fasten sheets of plastic or building (tar) paper over the opening and seal with caulk, putty or clay.

7. Using plastic tarp between a structure and sandbags helps keep floodwater from seeping between the house
siding and foundation sills.

8. Care should be taken to place sandbags tightly against one another. Place the next sandbag over the folded, tied
end to provide a good seal. Complete each layer before starting the next layer.  Limit placement to two layers.

9. After placing the first layer of sandbags, stagger the second layer of bags, much like the pattern of bricks in a wall.

Sandbags Fill Card
PW Capture