DIY Sandbagging
    • Last updated:
    • 08 Aug 2019

    HomeManaging Disaster > Be Prepared > Disaster Planning

    Sandbags will not stop flooding entirely. However, if they are placed in suitable locations they can help reduce the amount of water that enters your property.

    The following tips are also provided on the Queensland Government's Disaster Management website.

    Protecting your home and business

    Buy the items you need to make your own sandbags from participating local hardware stores and landscape supply businesses (see list below).

    DIY sandbagging demonstrations

    For information, and an online demonstration of how to make your own sandbags, visit the SES website.

    What you will need:

    • Empty sandbags
    • Sand
    • Plastic sheeting

    You will also need string if you are transporting the sandbags.

    Note. Not all hardware stores and landscape supply yards stock the items needed to make sandbags. You should check with your local stockist or refer to participating hardware and landscape supply businesses. This list of suppliers below will be updated from time to time. They may not have supplies in stock, so you should phone first and check.

    Filling the sandbag

    • Use dry sand – not soil.
    • Fill to two-thirds full so they are not too heavy to carry.
    • Leave the top of the sandbag untied.
    • If you need to transport sandbags, tie loosely then untie the sandbag again.

    Choosing the best location for the sandbags

    • In front of doorways, roller doors and brickwork vents.
    • Over floor wastes and shower and bath drains to prevent backflow of grey water.
    • Make sure you leave at least one doorway for your use. You should build a small sandbag wall away from the actual doorway.

    Laying the sandbags

    • The number of sandbags you use depends on location and expected flood height. Usually two rows of sandbags are enough.
    • Place a layer of plastic sheeting for the sandbags to be stacked on top. This acts as a water proofing covering.
    • Lay sandbags like brickwork on top of plastic sheeting – generally to two sandbag rows high.
    • Start at one end and work to the other end.
    • Make sure the untied end of the sandbag is covered by the next sandbag.
    • At the end of the row, tuck the untied end under the last sandbag.
    • Stagger rows so that the joins do not line up.

    Storing sandbags

    Store sandbags in a dry place out of the weather. They can rot if they get wet or damp.

    Disposing of used sandbags

    • Sandbags need to be thrown away once they’ve been exposed to floodwaters.
    • Never re-use them.
    • Take care when moving used sandbags. You should wear sturdy gloves. They bags will be heavy and may contain contaminants from flood water.

    Participating hardware stores

    The following businesses* stock materials needed for DIY sandbags. Don’t forget to give them a call before you visit. Make sure they have materials in stock and are open – particularly on public holidays.

     Business  Location  Phone number
    Neil Mansell Landscape Supplies (sandbags and sand) Maroochydore (07) 5443 8725
    The Rock Landscape and Garden Suppliers (sand only) Coolum Beach (07) 5446 4440
    Yandina Hardware (sandbags and sand) Yandina (07) 5446 8588
    Kawana Hardware and Garden Centre (sandbags and sand) Warana (07) 5493 2266
    Maleny Landscaping Supplies (sand only) Maleny  (07) 5494 3233
    Maleny Town and Country (sandbags only) Maleny (07) 5494 2302
    Sunshine Mitre 10 (sandbags and plastic bags of play sand) Nambour (07) 5441 1255
    Mooloolah Valley Hardware (sandbags and sand) Mooloolah (07) 5494 7622
    Maroochy Sand & Gravel (sand only) Woombye (07) 5442 2072

    *Emergency services may not always be able to get to you. These businesses are partners in the Sandbag Supply and Education Project. This project is to help you better prepare for the possibility of flooding.