Flooding is one of the most lethal catastrophes that mother nature can summon up. Over the centuries flooding has killed millions of people and left many millions more homeless, hungry and destitute. Flooding is so dangerous because its consequences are multiple and can cause prolonged problems a long time after flood waters subside.
Famine, hunger, drought and disease are all common after floodwater have long gone, which is why a single flood can cause the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. And flooding is universal, it does not matter where you are in the world, floods can hit anywhere, at any time and from numerous different causes.
Heavy rainfall, snow, damaged drains, earthquakes, damming and soil erosion can all cause floods and it can be very difficult to predict. And once flood waters rise there is very little that can be done to prevent it.
In some areas of the world, flood defenses can go some way to prevent flooding. The London Thames Barrier is a good example as the South Bank has never flown since its installation, but these expensive projects are not always practical or affordable in every area.
And floods sometimes happens in areas that it's least expected. Rising ground water, blocked drains and a whole host of other reasons can cause floods in areas from water sources.
When it comes to protecting property and homes the last line of defense has always been the sandbag. But a well constructed sandbag wall will hold back flood waters only temporarily and they do come with other problems:
Sandbags either have to be stored empty and then filled when needed – this is an arduous task and requires two people, a large source of sand and a good four hours to fill enough sandbags for even a small sandbag wall.
Or they have to be stored and transported full which can be a logistic nightmare – and filling sandbags is not a straightforward task – an incorrectly filled sand bag will not defend against water. If you find yourself having to fill sandbags, only half fill them and stack them neatly in layers like you would if you were building a brick wall.
There are alternatives to the traditional sandbag that remove all these problems. Instant sandbags actually fill with water and become watertight but can be used in the same manner as conventional sandbags.
The great advantage of these instant sandbags is that they can be stored flat, do not need to be filled in advance and only take minutes to fill when needed. And when it comes to flooding every minute matters!