Dozens of Santa Paulans showed their ready to be ready by visiting the Community Center Saturday where with proof of residency each vehicle received 10 free sandbags with sand. Shovels were available for the fill your own bag event.

Sandbags 101: Okay, now you’ve got them, learn how to use them

January 06, 2016
Santa Paula News

Okay, now you’ve proven you want to be prepared and have sandbags at the ready…but how do you use them? And if you haven’t bagged up yet be sure to shop Santa Paula where plenty of bags and sand are available.

Hundreds of Santa Paulans stopped by the Community Center Saturday to pick up free sand and sandbags, 10 per vehicle with proof of residency. 

According to Interim Public Works Director Brian Yanez Saturday’s event was “Very well attended…we initially had 20 tons of sand on site, however, due to the high demand, we were able to provide another 30 tons to the citizens of Santa Paula,” donated by T.S. Connor Trucking.

About 5,000 sandbags were given away meaning there was approximately 500 cars that stopped by the Community Center for the sandbags.

As the phones started ringing Monday morning at City Hall it was obvious that many people had missed out on the giveaway but Yanez said plenty of sand and bags are available at local hardware stores.

“Ace Heritage Hardware and Frank’s Paint & Hardware have plenty,” said Yanez, who urged citizens to prepare early — as in now — for the coming storms and projected wet winter.

Ace Heritage Hardware is located at 568 W. Main St. and Frank’s Paint & Hardware is located at 1026 E. Main St.

Said Yanez, “At this time, Public Works has not scheduled another ‘give away’ event,” but sand and sandbags will be available prior to and during a sizable rain event at Santa Paula Fire Station #1 on South 10th Street.

“Don’t wait though,” he added. “If you know you have a problem area on your property get those sandbags and place them in those trouble areas…”

Ventura County’s has plenty of disaster preparedness information including how to fill and use sandbags

Here’s a tutorial from on Sandbags 101 from buying and filling to placement.

When possible, use close-weave burlap bags as sandbags. Fill sandbags half-full. Use sand if it is available, but any local soil may be used. 

Remove debris and obstructions from the area where the sandbags will be placed.

When placing sandbags, fold the top of the sandbag down and rest the bag on its folded top.

The half-filled bags should be placed lengthwise and parallel to the direction of the water flow. Stamp on the bags as they are placed to eliminate gaps.

Place the sandbags to redirect water, mud or debris, not dam it.

Do not place sandbags directly against the outer wall of a building. Wet bags can create added pressure on the foundation.

Sandbags should be placed in staggered layers. Limit the layers to three unless the sandbags are braced or stacked in pyramids.

It takes time to construct a wall of sandbags. Plan ahead! It is much easier to place sandbags before you are dealing with heavy runoff.

Wonder how many sandbags you need?

For 100 lineal feet of a sandbag wall: 

One foot high: 600-800 bags, 10-13 cubic yards of sand. Two feet high: 1,400-2,000 bags, 23-33 cubic yards of sand. Three feet high: 2,200-3,400 bags, 37-57 cubic yards of sand. also urges residents to be prepared in other ways before it rains: clear debris from roof gutters, downspouts and drains. Get your roof and any trees on your property checked.

Have a supply of sandbags and other necessary materials such as plastic sheeting and tarps.

Register a contact number at to receive emergency notifications for you and your family; you can be notified for several areas when there is an emergency.

Find out if you are in an area subject to flooding or other hazards. Visit for more information.

During a storm when heavy rain is in the forecast — or when heavy, steady rain is falling — monitor conditions online at

Stay out of any floodwaters and avoid moving water. Do not try to walk, swim or drive through moving water. As little as 6 inches of moving water can knock you off your feet. Two feet of water is enough to carry away a vehicle.

The motto of Ventura County Emergency Services is “Don’t Drown, Turn Around” when you come across moving water.

Stay away from downed power lines and piles of debris. Avoid parking or camping near streams, rivers or creeks. The water may rise very quickly.

During the storms for real time emergency information in Ventura County visit 

And don’t forget: as well as www.readysantapaula,com have tons of information about all sorts of emergencies and preparedness

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