Flash floods have been sweeping across the USA and alternative sandbag company FloodSax has seen a sudden upsurge in demand from shopping malls and grocery stores struggling to cope with flooding.
Many have flat roofs which makes them vulnerable to water getting in, especially during torrential downpours, while others have parking lots on inclines which means water from flash floods flows straight into the store.
FloodSax are vacuum-packed so are space-saving to store but can be transformed into instant sandbags in minutes to keep floodwater out of the premises, potentially saving hundreds of thousands of pounds in damage and lost stock.
In their dry state they are ideal to soak up drips, leaks, spills and floods inside.
They are ultra-thin with a large surface area so can be slipped under refrigeration units and other hard-to-reach places to soak up water.
The danger is the water could not only damage the units and their electrics, but water leaking across the floor is a health and safety risk which could see customers and staff slipping and hurting themselves.
Lucy Bailey from FloodSax said: “A common factor for some grocery stores is the roofs and the fact they are flat and so more vulnerable to water getting in and some simply can’t cope with the sheer volume that comes down in a flash flood.
“It’s vital that supermarkets and all buildings that require facilities management have flood alleviation products in place to deal with floods both inside and out as every second really does count when it comes to water damage. Each minute the flood expands can cause damage running into thousands of pounds.”
FloodSax are vacuum-packed in packs of five in easy to carry bags and four packs fit into one cardboard box weighing just 21lbs (9.5kilos)– that’s the equivalent to 20 traditional sandbags.
To deploy FloodSax as alternative sandbags when a flood is forecast or is actually happening, simply immerse the FloodSax in 20 litres of water in a large bucket or tub. If time is really critical use the floodwater itself.
The FloodSax will then expand in around 5 minutes to weigh 20kg (44lbs). A special gelling polymer inside simply absorbs the water and then keeps it in the FloodSax so it can be used for however long the emergency lasts, which could be several months.
Each row of FloodSax will keep out approximately 7 inches of water and usually two or three rows are enough to keep floodwater at bay.