Exmouth Town Council, on behalf of the District Council, provide empty sandbags for residents.   They are free of charge and can be collected from our offices on the 1st Floor at the Town Hall, St Andrews Road, Exmouth, EX8 1AW during normal office hours (that’s Monday to Thursday, between 9am and 5pm; Friday 9am-4.30pm) or from AJ Taxis (7am to midnight) in the Strand. It is not practical to store or hand out filled sandbags.

Do not wait until your house is under threat to try and get sandbags.  If you know your property may be at risk, plan now, get sandbags now, be prepared.

You do not need to use sand to fill your sandbags.  Garden soil works just as well – and you can tip it back out where you got it from when the risk has passed and store the bags somewhere dry.  If you buy sand it comes in bags anyway – just use them.

Use sand bags to hold down bath and sink plugs, seal toilet bowls and shower traps.  Sewage can thus be prevented from entering your house through these.  Also remove drain hoses and tape over the drain pipes for washing machines and dishwashers with heavy duty tape so sewage cannot back up through these pipes.

Use sand bags to protect doors, airbricks, catflaps and any other apertures through which water could seep. Also seal any open gulleys through which foul water could rise.  Also use them to divert running floodwater from entering your home if you live on a hill.

Be realistic.  If flood water is likely to be in excess of 1 metre (3 ft) the weight of water may cause structural damage leading to collapse if it is unable to get to both sides of a wall to equalise the pressure.  Do not build defences higher than 1m – spend your time moving valuables out of danger.

Sandbags should be filled two thirds full and tied near the top.  This allows the filling room to move inside the bag to mould with the ground or other sandbags laid on top.  They should be linked in interlocking formation like bricks.  To protect a doorway or air brick then heavy duty plastic, PVC or waterproof canvas should be used to line the doorway and wrap around the sand bags to make a more waterproof seal.

For more information:

Environment Agency 

Flood Advice – How to get and use sandbags

British Red Cross

East Devon District Council