Flood Prevention Sandbags

When threatened by a hurricane, tropical storm, or flood event, the City of Oldsmar will provide free sandbags and sand to Oldsmar residents. Sandbags are generally available 36 hours prior to storm conditions arriving, and city staff will be at the site to assist residents in filling and loading. Sandbags will be available in the east parking area at Oldsmar City Hall, located at 100 State Street West.

Requirements
Sandbags will be available for Oldsmar residents only. Those desiring to obtain sandbags will be required to present proper identification, such as their driver's license or a utility bill indicating an Oldsmar address. The distribution of sandbags will be limited to 20 bags per residence.

During potential disaster impacts, please refer to the city's website for up to the minute information on disaster preparations and sandbag availability.

Sandbag Limitations
Sand bags are not an effective way to block or minimize water intrusion into homes or buildings. However, some homeowners feel a sense of well being by utilizing sand bags.
  • Sandbags will not seal out water and offer very little resistance to flooding.
  • Sandbags are heavy, and stacking them takes considerable physical effort.
  • Sandbags deteriorate when exposed to continued wetting and drying for several months. If bags are placed too early, they may not be effective when needed.
  • Sandbags are for small water flow protection - up to 2 feet.
  • Protection from larger flow requires a more permanent flood prevention system.
Sandbags might help redirect storm water and debris flows away from homes and other structures, provided the sandbags are properly filled and maintained. Sandbags usually last for only 1 year.

Filling
  • Self-service is required, and citizens must bring their own shovel.
  • Residents can fill no more than 20 bags at the location.
  • Fill sandbags 1/2 to 2/3 full.
  • Use sand if readily available; otherwise, use local soil.
  • Fold top of sandbag down and rest the bag on its folded top.
Placing
  • Take care in stacking sandbags.
  • Limit placement to 3 layers unless a building is used as a backing or sandbags are placed in a pyramid.
  • Tamp each sandbag into place, completing each layer prior to starting the next layer.
  • Clear a path between buildings for debris flow.
  • Lay a plastic sheet in between the building and the bags to control the flow and prevent water from seeping into sliding glass doors.
Removing
  • Homeowners should empty the sand in their gardens or yards, then throw the bags in the trash.
  • Before disposing of used sandbags, check for contamination. Sandbags exposed to contaminated flood waters may pose an environmental hazard and require special handling.
  • The sand bags that are distributed by the city are poly bags and can be dried out and reused unless they are contaminated, damaged, or falling apart. This can save citizens time by not having to go to the sandbag site and give them the opportunity to reuse the sandbags.