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Morgan101

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I'm not sure if this thread belongs in this section, so if there is a better place for it, please feel free to move it.

I was reading a prepping magazine this weekend. One of the articles focused on flooding, and how to protect yourself and your home. One of the items that always comes up in these articles is the use of sand bags. I am not saying it is a bad idea. I just want to put it in a realistic context.

First this is an enormous amount of work, and not for the faint of heart. It is backbreaking labor, and you need a lot of people, especially if you are under a time constraint with waters rising. I would not even conceive of doing this alone.

Second it is an enormous expense. The cheapest way would be to buy the bags empty; buy the sand in bulk; and fill them yourself. This will cost close to $2.00 a bag. Determine how many you need, and you can do the math. My guess is you will need at least 500 bags.

I can speak from first hand experience. We did not have the expense. The town delivered the bags and the sand. We had to provide sweat equity. We had dozens of people filling sand bags. Loading them in wheel barrows. Carrying them where needed and stacking in place. It was extremely hard labor for a lot of people, and when it was all said and done it was all for naught. We never got the sand bag wall high enough, and the home owner still had four feet of water in his basement. And we were only trying to protect one house.

You may not have a choice. That may be your only option. I just grind my teeth when I read some journalist saying use sand bags with no expansion or explanation of what that will entail. I would bet dollars to donuts they have no concept of what they are recommending. Does anyone else have any experience with this?
 

zoomzoom

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I created a thread on sandbags a couple months ago.

I didn't find the cost to be $2.00 per bag as mentioned. I bought the bags a long time ago but they can be bought for $299/1000 bags on Amazon. That's 30-cents per bag. I got 20 tons of sand for $300 and filled 800 bags. That's another 38-cents per bag. So, not counting labor it only cost me 68 cents per bag total.

Myself, I didn't wait for an "event" where I expect they would be needed. I filled the 800 bags, stacked and tarped them. Now they're ready for whenever and wherever needed.

For filling bags, I highly recommend the GoBagger. By myself, I can fill a bag in under 30 seconds.

 

Sourdough

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Trash pump (plus backup trash pump) Generator (plus backup generator) Fuel plus backup fuel.
 

Morgan101

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The bags on Amazon are now 32 cents, and the sand was about $50.00 per ton. I don't know how heavy your bags were, but I based the cost on 50 pound bags. Is my math correct? 2000 lbs @ 50 lbs. per bag would be 40 bags per ton? 40 bags divided by $50.00 would be $1.25 in sand plus the 32 cents for the bag would be $1.57. The bags I found on line were 60 cents each so yours were cheaper. If you had 20 tons of sand and filled 800 bags they would have been about 40 lbs. each.

Cost aside IMHO the labor is what is difficult especially if you are under the gun with water rising. How long did it take to fill 800 bags. How long will it take to put them all in place? IMHO the labor is what is grossly underestimated.
 

zoomzoom

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Sand for you is $50 per ton?!?!? I paid $15 per ton.
I used 20 ton in 800 bags so that's 50# per bag.
By myself, I'd do 90 bags per day. Anything more than that and I'd feel it the next day.
For those 90, I could fill, tie, load onto trailer, drive 700' and stack the bags in about 2.5 hours.

If I had my son and one of his friends helping me in an assembly line setup, we could do a bag every 30 seconds.
 

Hardcalibres

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I have filled a bunch of sandbags during my time in the military - and used them to build all sorts of things.

I have about two thousand empty bags at our homestead - for flood control (likely more for others than us, as we are way up on high ground above our creek system). When flood events come along, you can find sand and people - but sandbags have to have been acquired in advance (hard to get when everyone needs them at the same time).

I have taken note of all the places nearby that have good sand - and there are a few places within a couple of miles of here. I have a bunch of new shovels (of the size and type we had in the military) and several trucks to get people, bags, shovels down to the sand and then get the people and filled bags back to where ever they are needed. The trucks are happy driving through flood waters more than four feet deep (with snorkels up about nine feet).

Sandbags are a great prep with several uses - but as the OP pointed out, filling and placement is labor intensive. Using them is definately either a long term back breaker or a group labor project.

The plastic weave ones (in post #2) are OK for short term protection, but the military hessian ones are more long life in the sun/weather. They also blend in better if that is important.
 

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