If you are planning to erect a flood barrier you should do so for all non essential entrances or exits prior to flood and freezing weather. Do not block emergency exits while building is occupied. Maintain a stockpile for your needs. Delivery may be impeded by closures, traffic and weather conditions. Freezing winter conditions may limit or prevent the ability to deliver sandbags or build sandbag barriers. Sandbags can freeze making them hard to handle or stack effectively. If you have the option or have the space to bring them inside, do so. This will insure that when they are needed they will not be frozen. If you do not have the ability to store them out of the weather, then you will have to soften them much like breaking up a bag of ice by impacting the bag before stacking. (toss them on the ground to person stacking)

If all you plan to do is create a flood barrier at the openings to your building, try the following method.

This utilizes your building as structural support for your sandbag wall allowing you to stack sandbags vertically

Not recommended if floodwaters are expected to be higher then 3 feet. (may cause structural collapse)

This procedure designed to minimize flood damage. (takes 30 to 45 minutes with 2 people per entrance)


Supplies to keep handy



If required


To calculate the required amount of sandbags for a vertical sandbag wall


Run sandbag wall 3 ft past opening on each end

So if you have a 6 ft opening, figure on 12 linier feet of wall

Sandbag foot print = 1 ft x 4 in high


figure 1


(Sandbag Wall Height X 3 bags per ft) X length of sandbag wall

( 3ft high X 3 bags per ft) X 12 ft long = 9 X 12 or

108 sandbags needed for barrier plus additional for anchors (2 pallets of 84 sandbags) for double door entry


Compliments of Washington Sandbag.2009